Boat and mysterious group named in Nord Stream investigation
A rented boat that left Rostock, Germany, is suspected of being connected to the explosions of the gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2, according to information in several German media. Prosecutors in Germany confirm that the boat has been investigated.
The explosions occurred at the end of September. According to the German television channels ARD and SWR and the newspaper Die Zeit, the boat was seen leaving Rostock in eastern Germany on September 6. It was about 20 days before the leaks on the lines were discovered. The boat had been rented from a company registered in Poland, owned by two Ukrainians.
Just before the German media report, the New York Times also came out with an article about the explosions. The newspaper writes that “high-ranking sources” have stated that a pro-Ukrainian group is behind the explosions, but at the same time emphasizes that the information is vague. Nothing is known about people in the group or on whose behalf they would have acted, according to the newspaper.
The article quotes Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist, who leads the Swedish investigation into the explosions.
– Do I think it was Russia that blew up Nord Stream? I never thought so. It is not logical, says Ljungqvist to the newspaper, in an interview conducted at the end of February.
– But just like when it comes to murder, nothing can be ruled out.
TT has applied for Ljungqvist, who is said to be on a business trip.
According to the German media, the boat should have had six people on board – a captain, a doctor, two divers and two people who assisted the divers. Their identities or nationalities are not known and they are said to have used false passports when the boat was rented.
The boat was noted after departure from Rostock to have been at Wieck, near the area where the gas pipelines meet land at Greifswald and then at Christiansö northeast of Bornholm.
After the boat was returned to the lessor, the German media reports do not say when it happened, traces of explosives were allegedly discovered on board.
The German Attorney General’s Office now confirms, in a written statement to Ekot, that the boat was investigated at the end of January. It was suspected that it had been used to transport explosives for the blasts.
The investigation of findings on the boat is not complete, according to the statement. It is therefore not possible to determine whether the suspicion of explosives was true or not. The Attorney General states that the investigation continues and that it is not possible to say anything about who or which, or whether a state, was behind the explosions.
A few weeks ago, the UN ambassadors in Sweden, Denmark and Germany sent a joint letter to the UN Security Council.
In the letter, the countries state that the leak was caused by explosions as a result of sabotage.
“These investigations are not yet finished. Right now it is not possible to say when they will be finished. The authorities in Denmark, Germany and Sweden have had a dialogue about the investigation of the gas leaks and the dialogue will continue,” they wrote.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius does not want to draw any conclusions from the media’s reporting about who was behind the attack.
– What is more important now is that we, together with NATO and countries around the Baltic Sea, come together and protect important infrastructure, he says in connection with the EU’s informal meeting of defense ministers.