No Evidence Russia Involved in Nord Stream Blasts Found So Far, German Investigators Admit
( Breitbart )
No evidence that Moscow was involved in the suspected sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea has been found so far, a German investigator has admitted.
An investigation being conducted by Germany’s Public Prosecutor General, Peter Frank, has come up with zero evidence that Russia was involved in the explosions that rendered both Nord Stream pipelines inactive.
While noting that the investigation is continuing, Frank said in comments reported by the Süddeutsche Zeitung: “What I can say is that the suspicion that this was a foreign act of sabotage has not yet been substantiated.”
When pressed specifically on Russian involvement, the prosecutor general said: “This cannot be proven at the moment.”
The German investigation, which is being conducted in parallel to separate inquiries being carried out in Sweden and Denmark, has examined both water and soil samples as well as pieces of the section of the pipeline that exploded.
“We are currently evaluating all of this forensically,” Frank said.
In November, Swedish authorities reported finding traces of explosive material at the bottom of the Baltic Sea site, claiming that it demonstrated that the damage done to the pipelines was an act of “gross sabotage“.
However, the investigators could not — or would not — point to any particular country as the culprit.
In the immediate aftermath of the September explosions, Western figures such as U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and German economy minister Robert Habeck pointed the finger at Russia.
Going further, a Ukrainian official alleged that they were “a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression toward [the European Union].”
However, others have questioned why Moscow would be motivated to destroy its own pipelines, through which the sale of its natural gas — a central pillar of the Russian economy — was sold to Europe.
The construction of the two pipelines was largely seen as a means for Russia to be able to cut out Ukraine from its energy transport network, notably reducing reliance on the Bratstvo and Soyuz pipelines that cross Ukraine into Central Europe — both of which are still operational, with Ukraine being paid transit fees for its transportation across its territory.
The Kremlin, for its part, previously cast blame on the British, claiming — without presenting evidence — that the Royal Navy took part in the “planning, provision and implementation of a terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea” to destroy the pipelines.
The British government characterised the suggestion of British involvement as “false claims of an epic scale”.
Others have also raised questions over previous remarks from U.S. President Joe Biden, who said prior to the Russian invasion in February of last year: “If Russia invades… then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
It remains to be seen if the pipelines will be repaired, with neither Russia nor Germany coming forward to put up the money to pay for repairs.
The clock may be ticking on such a move, with German government officials warning that the pipelines could be “destroyed forever” without immediate intervention due to salt water corrosion.