At the end of September 2022, explosions tore holes in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines. During their investigations, the federal prosecutor had the suspicious ship searched in January. There is a suspicion that it could have been used to transport explosive devices, a spokeswoman for the Karlsruhe authorities said.
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."
ARD, SWR and "Zeit" reported on Tuesday evening about the investigators' new findings. 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.
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 a case of serious sabotage - without naming a culprit.
"The Federal Public Prosecutor (GBA) has been investigating the matter since the beginning of October 2022," government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said on Tuesday. "Most recently, Sweden, Denmark and Germany informed the United Nations Security Council that the investigations are ongoing and that there are still no results," he said.
From the US side, the communications director of the US government's National Security Council, John Kirby, referred to the ongoing investigations in Germany and Scandinavia. "We believe it was an act of sabotage," he said. First, the investigation must be terminated. Only then can we talk about how to proceed. Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said at a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that he had no further comments. Stoltenberg said they knew it was an attack, a sabotage. It would be wrong to speculate about who is behind this before the investigation is complete.