A vessel used by military divers was spotted near the sabotaged pipeline after discovering a mystery, national dailies report
The Royal Danish Navy is believed to be conducting a diving operation east of the island of Bornholm, not far from the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that was damaged by an explosion. Berlingske newspaper reported on Tuesday that a Flyvefisken-type patrol vessel used by military divers had been seen there along with two other military vessels. The Danish military confirmed its presence east of Bornholm but does not want to comment on the ships’ mission, says Berlingske.
Last week, Danish Foreign Minister Lars Rasmussen announced that his government could confirm a report by Russian gas giant Gazprom, the operator of the underwater pipeline, about a strange object found near Nord Stream 2.
The company sent images of the object to Danish authorities, while the Russian government conducted a formal investigation through its embassy, the minister said. Copenhagen takes the discovery seriously and will investigate further, Rasmussen promised at the time.
The object was mentioned last week by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a television interview. He said it was found during a Gazprom survey about 30 kilometers from where the pipeline broke. The device could be an antenna used to remotely detonate a charge, the president suggested, citing experts.
Moscow asked for permission to explore further, Putin added, necessary because the object is in Denmark’s exclusive zone. Russia could organize a mission “on its own, together with [the Danes]or even better, with an international group of explosives experts trained to work at such depth.”
Rasmussen said such a permit would not be granted, prompting a rebuke from the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The sabotage of the two Nord Stream pipelines, which mostly run alongside each other but divert a bit near Bornholm, involved explosions at two different public locations, one in Danish waters, the other in the Swedish zone. Three of the four strings that make up the key energy links were broken.
According to a report by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the operation was ordered by US President Joe Biden, with the US and Norwegian militaries planting the allegations. Both nations have denied any responsibility.