Traces of explosives found in yacht as part of Nord Stream sabotage probe, diplomats say

BERLIN (AP) — Investigators have found traces of underwater explosives in samples taken from a yacht that was one aspect of an investigation into the sabotage of Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea last year. latest, European diplomats told the United Nations Security Council.

They say the investigation has yet to establish who the perpetrators were and whether a state was involved.

Denmark, Sweden and Germany have been investigating the September 26 attack, and the Danish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday tweeted a letter from the three countries’ ambassadors to the UN to the President of the Security Council with information on their activities so far.

Officials expressed caution in March over media reports that a pro-Ukrainian group was involved in the sabotage. German media then reported that five men and a woman had used a yacht rented by a Ukrainian company in Poland to carry out the attack, and that it had sailed from the German port of Rostock.

German federal prosecutors declined to comment directly on this report and others, but confirmed that a boat was searched in January and said there were suspicions that the boat in question could have been used to transport explosive devices that were used to blow up the pipelines.

A section of this week’s letter detailing Germany’s findings says the sailboat’s precise course has not yet been definitively established. He said “traces of underwater explosives were found in the samples taken from the boat during the investigation”, but did not elaborate.

“At this stage, it is not possible to reliably establish the identity of the perpetrators and their motivations, in particular regarding the question of whether the incident was directed by a state or a state actor. “, did he declare. “Any information to clarify the matter will be pursued during ongoing investigations.”

The underwater explosions ruptured the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline – which, until Russia cut supplies in late August, was its main natural gas supply route to Germany. They also damaged the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which never entered service because Germany suspended its certification process shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The pipelines have long been the target of criticism from the United States and some of its allies, who have warned they pose a risk to Europe’s energy security by increasing reliance on Russian gas.

President Vladimir Putin and Russian officials accused the United States of masterminding the pipeline explosions, which they described as a terrorist attack. Ukraine rejected suggestions that it could have ordered the attack. Countries investigating the blasts have not specified who may have been responsible.

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