Sweden closed the area around the ruptured Nord Stream pipelines yesterday as their prosecution authority called it a “crime scene” amid speculations of foul play.
“Suspected gross sabotage” led Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist and the coast guard to ban divers and marine vessels, including underwater vehicles, from being within 5.8 miles of the leaks.
On Monday Sweden deployed a diving vessel into the Baltic Sea to investigate the incident which affects Europe’s main gas supply.
It is currently unclear who is to blame for the disruption following reports of blasts in the area, although multiple allegations have been made.
Moscow suggested the US is the culprit because they seek to profit the most due to higher prices and increased exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Washington has strongly denied any responsibility.
Likewise Russia has refuted Western claims the country played a role, dismissing them as “predictably stupid and absurd”.
Four leaks have been discovered across both Nord Stream 1 and 2 since last week, spanning zones in Sweden and Denmark. Although neither pipelines were operating at the time, residual gas escaped and emitted up to 500,000 tonnes of methane.
A Danish inquiry into the leaks “is now underway”, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told Denmark’s parliament on Tuesday.
Russian energy company Gazprom shut off Nord Stream 1 indefinitely in September, throwing Europe’s gas supply into uncertainty and leaving its nations scrambling to diversify supply routes and sources.