18 Oct, 2022 18:06
The photos and video show evidence of what Danish police say were “powerful explosions”
Swedish newspaper Expressen released the first underwater images of the ruptured Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline on Tuesday. The Russia-Germany gas line was critically damaged in an act of apparent sabotage last month.
The video footage, shot 80 meters below the surface of the Baltic Sea, shows long tears in the seabed leading up to the blown-apart pipe. At least 50 meters of the concrete-reinforced steel pipe are missing, the Swedish newspaper reported.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines – which were built to deliver Russian natural gas directly to Germany – lost pressure abruptly on September 26, following a series of underwater explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm, within the economic zones of Denmark and Sweden.
Germany, Denmark and Sweden are conducting separate investigations into the blasts, with a preliminary report by Copenhagen Police on Tuesday stating that “powerful explosions” caused the damage. Swedish investigators reached a similar conclusion earlier this month, blaming the blasts on “gross sabotage.”
All three nations have barred Russia from participating in their investigations, and Sweden has gone a step further, refusing to share its findings with anyone due to the “national security” implications. Stockholm also rejected a joint probe with Denmark and Germany.
While some Western media outlets and analysts have blamed the pipeline attacks on Russia, Moscow has dismissed this theory as “stupid.” The Nord Stream lines represented both a vital revenue source for Russia and a powerful bargaining chip with Europe, with Moscow saying only the United States benefits from their destruction.
“Everybody understands who is behind this and who is the beneficiary,” Russian President Vladimir Putin stated last week, explaining that with the gas lines inoperable, “one can now force the liquefied natural gas from the US on to European countries on a much larger scale.”
Russia considers the Nord Stream explosions a “terrorist act,” with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova demanding an international investigation. Zakharova noted that NATO conducted military drills involving underwater drones near Bornholm this summer, likely referring to the alliance’s BALTOPS 2022 exercises, held in July.