During their investigations into the explosions on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, the federal prosecutor's office had a suspicious ship searched in January. There is a suspicion that it could have been used to transport explosive devices that exploded on the pipelines on September 26, 2022, a spokeswoman for the Karlsruhe authority said on request.
The evaluation of the seized traces and objects is ongoing. "The identity of the perpetrators and their motives are the subject of ongoing investigations," it said. "Reliable statements on this, especially on the question of state control, cannot be made at the moment."
Reports: Evidence of a pro-Ukrainian group
ARD, SWR and "Zeit" reported on the investigators' new findings last night. There it was said, citing information from the secret service, that a pro-Ukrainian group could be responsible for the explosions. Evidence of who commissioned this has not yet been found.
According to these reports, the yacht in question was chartered by a company based in Poland, which "apparently belongs to two Ukrainians". A team of six, consisting of a captain, two divers, two diving assistants and a doctor, brought the explosives to the crime scenes. It is unclear what nationalities these people have. Apparently they used fake passports.
According to the Federal Prosecutor's Office, the search took place from January 18 to 20 "in connection with a suspicious ship rental". As part of the further investigations, all indications to clarify the facts will be followed up. There is no suspicion against employees of the German company that rented the ship. No further information can be given at this time.
Kyiv: There was no government participation
Kyiv denies any government involvement in the September 2022 underwater explosions. Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser in Ukraine's presidential office, tweeted: "While he enjoys spawning amusing conspiracy theories surrounding the Ukrainian government, Ukraine has nothing to do with the incident and neither does it." no information about pro-Ukrainian sabotage group.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov also denied his ministry was involved. The fact that Ukrainian special forces are believed to be capable of such an operation is "a kind of compliment," said Resnikov on the sidelines of an informal meeting with the defense ministers of the EU states in Sweden. "But that's not our field of activity." The story is weird because it has nothing "to do with us".
Pistorius and Baerbock react cautiously
German politicians such as Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) warned against jumping to conclusions. According to Pistorius, a false flag action aimed at incriminating Kiev is also possible. The Kremlin once again pointed to Western governments as the culprit.
At the end of September, a total of four leaks in the two pipelines from Russia to Germany were discovered after explosions near the Danish Baltic Sea island of Bornholm. The Swedish security authorities determined in November that it was serious sabotage - but without naming a culprit.