A picture shows a circle about one kilometer in diameter on the surface of the water as bubbles of gas escaping from the Nord Stream gas pipeline appear on September 27, 2022.
Berlin – German investigators in in mid-January, they searched a ship that could have been used by the masterminds of sabotage on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines. Today, the Federal Prosecutor's Office stated this. This was in response to a joint report by German public broadcasters ARD and SWR and the newspaper Die Zeit about a breakthrough in the investigation, according to which “traces lead to Ukraine”.
The mentioned boat, which the authorities searched from January 18 to 20, according to the representative office, was singled out by investigators because of a suspicious rental. The evaluation of the secured tracks and objects has not yet ended. “The identity of the perpetrators and their motives are the subject of an ongoing investigation,” said the representative's spokeswoman, adding that nothing can be said about the involvement of any state in the sabotage.
On Tuesday, ARD, SWR and Die Zeit reported on the ship, specifically the yacht, used in the attack on the gas pipelines. They stated that traces of explosives were found on board and that the yacht was rented from a company based in Poland, which apparently belongs to two Ukrainians.
According to information from three German media outlets, six people participated in the entire event – the captain of the vessel, two divers, two assistant divers and a doctor. The identity of the persons is not clear, as false travel documents were probably used. The group set sail from the northern German town of Rostock on September 6 last year with equipment that had previously arrived at the port in a van.
Citing unnamed US officials who cited new intelligence, The New York Times wrote on Tuesday that a pro-Ukraine group may be behind the sabotage. At the same time, the sources said there was no evidence that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi was involved in the operation or that the group was acting at the behest of Ukrainian government or military officials. Mychajlo Podoljak from the Ukrainian presidential office subsequently rejected the connection of the attack with Ukraine.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, in an interview with German radio Deutschlandfunk today in Stockholm, where he is participating in an informal meeting of the defense ministers of the EU countries, warned against hasty conclusions about sabotage background. “The explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines may also have been the result of a false flag operation carried out to blame Ukraine,” he said.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, which run from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, they each have a pair of pipes. In still unexplained explosions last September, both Nord Stream 1 pipelines and one Nord Stream 2 pipeline were damaged.