NewsGermany persists in Nord Stream pipeline attack probe: traces lead to Ukrainian connection
Germany persists in Nord Stream pipeline attack probe: traces lead to Ukrainian connection
DRANSKE, GERMANY - MARCH 17: A bench looks out towards the Baltic Sea on Ruegen Island on March 17, 2023 near Dranske, Germany. According to media reports, German investigators suspect the Andromeda, a 50-foot Bavaria 50 Cruiser recreational sailing yacht, was used by a six-person crew to sail from Rostock with a stop over on Ruegen at nearby Wiek out to the Baltic Sea and plant explosives that detonated on the Nord Stream pipeline in September of 2022, causing extensive damage. Investigators reportedly found traces of explosives on the table inside the yacht. While initial findings point to a possible Ukrainian connection to the sabotage operation, many questions remain open. The Andromeda is currently in dry dock on the nearby headland of Bug. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)Images source: © GETTY | Sean Gallup
1:17 PM EST, February 6, 2024
Officials from the Attorney General's office and the Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BKA) are leading the German investigation.
"The investigation is still ongoing", confirmed German investigators. They plan to integrate evidence gathered by Sweden into their efforts. Sweden conducted its own investigation into a potential sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline, portions of which pass through the Swedish economic zone.
Germany shows "particular interest" in the fragments of broken pipes that the Swedish army retrieved from the Baltic Sea following the explosions of fall 2022, as reported by the "Sueddeutsche Zeitung".
Investigators aim to compare explosive residues found on these pipe fragments with those uncovered on the Andromeda yacht. According to German authorities, this connection serves as the "most significant lead towards identifying the culprits."
Findings from the German prosecutor's office suggest the Andromeda yacht was likely rented by a Ukrainian citizen in September 2022. The payment reportedly came from accounts of a Polish company, also owned by a Ukrainian national.
The six-person crewed yacht sailed from the German port of Rostock. "There is suspicion that a diving team planted explosive devices on the Nord Stream pipelines. The yacht made stops that included the Danish island of Christianso, Sandhamn in Sweden and Kolobrzeg in Poland" - reports the "Sueddeutsche Zeitung".
Polish authorities displayed hesitance in cooperative investigation
Throughout the investigation, Germany and Sweden had a close exchange of information – the Swedish prosecutor visited the Federal Prosecution Office in Karlsruhe, while German investigators traveled to Stockholm to review the potential evidence for the German case.
Despite this, as emphasized by the "Sueddeutsche Zeitung", "unlike the Swedes, Poland has persistently resisted cooperation with German investigators".
"In spite of numerous inquiries, Polish authorities have given German investigators only sporadic information, and at a delayed pace. So far, Poland has seemingly not released any footage recorded by the surveillance cameras at the Kolobrzeg port, which could potentially provide new details about the Andromeda crew" – adds the newspaper.
The German inquiry is primarily centered on the intentional causing of an explosion and a suspected act of sabotage against state security.