Posted BY: IBT
Sweden sent a diving vessel on Monday to the site of Russian gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea that ruptured last week following blasts in the area, to probe an incident that has added new tension to Europe’s energy crisis.
Europe is investigating what caused three pipelines in the Nord Stream network to burst in an act of suspected sabotage near Swedish and Danish waters that Moscow quickly sought to pin on the West, suggesting the United States stood to gain.
“The coast guard is responsible for the mission, but we are supporting them with units,” a spokesperson for the Swedish navy, Jimmie Adamsson, told Reuters. “The only one we are naming is HMS Belos, which is a submarine rescue and diving vessel.”
The Swedish coast guard said Nord Stream 1 had stopped leaking, but an overflight suggested gas was still draining out of Nord Stream 2 and bubbling to the surface over a 30 metre (32 yard) radius.
The Kremlin doubled down on allegations that the West was to blame for the ruptures on Monday, saying that the United States was able to increase sales and prices of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a result.
Washington has strongly denied any involvement. European countries suspect sabotage, but have declined to say who could be behind it.
Kremlin-controlled Gazprom also said flows could resume at the last remaining intact pipeline in the Nord Stream 2 network, a suggestion likely to be rebuffed given Europe blocked Nord Stream 2 on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
“If a decision is made to start deliveries through Nord Stream 2’s line B, natural gas will be pumped into the pipeline after the integrity of the system has been checked and verified by supervisory authorities,” Gazprom said.
The suggestion follows remarks by Russia’s deputy prime minister on Sunday that the Nord Stream network could be repaired, given time and enough funds.