by Breanne Deppisch, Energy and Environment Reporter
Swedish authorities said Thursday that their investigation of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines to Russia has revealed evidence of detonations, bolstering existing suspicions that last week’s ruptures were sabotage.
“After completing the crime scene investigation, the Swedish Security Service can conclude that there have been detonations at Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Swedish economic zone,” the Swedish Security Service said in a statement, adding that the blasts had caused “extensive damage” to the lines.
The evidence “has strengthened the suspicions of gross sabotage,” it said.
Authorities also said they had retrieved some material from the site of the blasts, which they will begin analyzing for evidence to determine who is responsible.
“The continued preliminary investigation must show whether someone can be served with suspicion and later prosecuted,” officials said in the statement.
Russia said later it had not been asked to participate in the investigation. “As of now, there are no plans to ask the Russian side to join investigations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
German, Danish, and Swedish authorities are all investigating the gas leaks.
The European Union has declined to name anyone responsible for the blasts until it can investigate them further, though it has maintained that it believes the attacks were an act of sabotage.
The United States has not assigned blame for the leaks. Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused “Anglo-Saxons” of sabotaging the pipelines, leading President Joe Biden to accuse him of disinformation.
Leaders said last week that any deliberate act would be met with a “robust and united response.”