Sweden Drops Investigation Into Nord Stream Blasts

Nord Stream leak

Published Feb 7, 2024 9:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

Sweden has dropped its investigation into the blasts that ruptured three of the four Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic in 2022. The prosecutor guiding the inquiry said that Sweden did not have jurisdiction to continue and would pass its findings to German authorities, who still have an active investigation into the attack. 

In a brief statement, the prosecutor said that the inquiry had started out to determine "whether Swedish citizens were involved in the act and whether Swedish territory was used to carry out the act." After finding evidence of neither, the prosecutor said, Sweden lacks jurisdiction and cannot continue the search for answers. 

More than a few observers have suggested that answers are the last thing that European governments are hoping to find: some of the possible explanations would be politically uncomfortable. The culprit might be Russia, as the governments of Poland and Ukraine allege; but it might also be an ally. The inactive pipeline complex was once a key energy-trade artery between Russia and Germany, and by severing it, the unknown attacker didn't just damage Russian interests - they also cut off Germany's ability to access vast amounts of cheap Russian natural gas. 

Independent investigations have pointed towards Ukrainian involvement, and American national security officials have told The New York Times that they were aware of a Ukrainian plan to stage an attack. Investigators also recovered traces of explosives from a small yacht at a harbor near one of the attack sites; the yacht had been chartered by a Ukrainian-owned company. 

In November, the Washington Post reported that a Ukrainian military intelligence officer, Special Forces Colonel Roman Chervinskiy, was responsible for coordinating the attack. Chervinskiy has denied involvement.