Swedish prosecutors have said they will end their investigation into the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in 2022, dodging the question of who destroyed the then new energy link between Russia and Europe shortly after Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
After a near 18-month inquiry, the investigators concluded they did not have jurisdiction in the case because Sweden’s citizens and interests had not been harmed.
“The conclusion of the investigation is that Swedish jurisdiction does not apply and that the investigation therefore should be closed,” the Swedish prosecution authority said on Wednesday.
The multibillion-dollar Nord Stream pipelines transporting Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea were ruptured by a series of blasts in Swedish and Danish waters in September 2022, releasing vast amounts of methane into the air.
Authorities in Denmark and Germany will continue separate investigations into the attack, considered one of the most audacious acts of industrial espionage in recent memory. The leaks in the Baltic Sea were the largest single release of methane ever recorded, the UN environment programme said.
Sweden and Denmark had said explosives were used in the blast, and Mats Ljungqvist, the prosecutor leading the Swedish investigation, had said a “state actor” was likely to be behind the attack. Neither country had named a suspect.
A UN report said the three undersea explosions that ruptured the pipelines were equivalent to the power of several hundred kilograms of explosives.
Russia has blamed the west, and specifically the US, for the blasts, saying Washington wanted to halt shipments of Russian gas to Europe.
US officials initially blamed Russia, while the New York Times and other US media also reported that a pro-Ukrainian group unaffiliated with the government may have been involved.