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Traces of explosives were found in a yacht in the Nord Stream sabotage investigation, diplomats say

BERLIN (AP) — Investigators have found traces of submarine explosives in samples taken from a yacht that was part of an investigation last year into the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea, European diplomats have told the United Nations Security Council . .

They say the investigation has not yet determined who the perpetrators were or whether any state was involved.

Denmark, Sweden and Germany have investigated the Sept. 26 attack, and the Danish Foreign Ministry tweeted on Tuesday a letter from the UN ambassadors of the three countries to the President of the Security Council detailing their activities so far.

Officials were cautious in March because of media reports that a pro-Ukrainian group was involved in the sabotage. German media then reported that five men and a woman used a yacht chartered by a Ukrainian company in Poland to carry out the attack, departing from the German port city of Rostock.

German federal prosecutors declined to comment directly on that and other reports, but did confirm that a boat had been searched in January and said there were suspicions that the boat in question could have been used to transport explosives used to destroy the pipelines. to blow.

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A portion of this week’s letter detailing Germany’s findings said the precise course of the sailing yacht has not yet been definitively determined. It said that “traces of submarine explosives were found in the samples taken from the boat during the investigation”, but did not elaborate.

“At this time, it is not possible to reliably establish the identity of the perpetrators and their motives, particularly with regard to whether the incident was driven by a state or state actor,” it said. “Any information to clear up the matter will be pursued during the ongoing investigation.”

The submarine explosions ruptured the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which was the main natural gas supply route to Germany until Russia cut off supplies in late August. They also damaged the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was never commissioned because Germany suspended its certification process shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The pipelines have long been the target of criticism from the United States and some of its allies, who warned they posed a risk to Europe’s energy security due to its increasing dependence on Russian gas.

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President Vladimir Putin and Russian officials have accused the US of staging the pipeline explosions, which they have described as a terror attack. Ukraine has rejected suggestions that it ordered the attack. The countries investigating the explosions have not commented on who might be responsible.

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