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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Russian ships were near pipeline

Russian vessels capable of carrying out subsea operations have been tracked along gas pipelines in the Baltic, reports Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) in conjunction with state broadcasters in Sweden (SVT), Denmark (DR) and Finland (Yle). The vessels’ radio signals reportedly gave them away.

One of the ships, according to NRK, was in the area around the Nord Stream gas pipelines that sent Russian gas to Europe just four days before it exploded last autumn and set off alarms over offshore security. The explosions were quickly linked to sabotage, not least since they effectively cut off energy supplies to Germany and elsewhere on the continent.

Russian officials have denied any involvement in the explosions, which have been under investigation by both Danish and Swedish authorities with jurisdiction in the area. NRK, DR, SVT and Yle, which are cooperating on their own investigation into the blasts, report that the Russian ships had deactivated signals showing their positions and speed. The ships did, however, send radio reports to Russian naval bases that revealed their routes when they sailed three times last June and September from Russia to the area of the pipeline explosions near the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.

Those reports were obtained by the Nordic broadcasting team. They indicate that the Russian vessels including the Sibiryakov spent several hours, in one case up to a full day, near the pipelines before sailing back to their Russian bases. The data, reported NRK, is also supported by satellite pictures analyzed by the four media organizations.

NRK’s lengthy report published Wednesday can be found here (external link, in Norwegian). Russia’s foreign ministry dismissed the report as being part of a “western” campaign to spread incorrect information. The ministry continues to call the explosions an international act of terrorism. staff





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