The theory: Surface ships blew up the Nordstream

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Published 1 December 2022 at 12.31

Domestic. The investigation into the gas leak in the Baltic Sea is progressing. Chamber prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist tells Expressen that he knows which explosives were used and which method was used to carry out what he labels as gross sabotage.

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The prosecutor does not want to say whether a surface ship or a submarine was used to place the explosive charges, but Hans Liwång, docent in defense systems at the Norwegian Defense Academy, says that the findings so far indicate that a surface ship has been used.

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– It is not a small precision charge, but rather a larger charge that has been placed on the bottom next to the gas pipe, he states to Expressen.

That a submarine with divers managed to place the charge, he says is “less likely”.

Ships sinking something into the water does not attract attention as it happens all the time. It is also possible to switch off your AIS transponder so that the presence is not visible afterwards. This also happens all the time and does not necessarily attract the attention of the military, according to Liwång.

The gas leak has occurred in the Swedish economic zone but in international waters. This means that the Swedish Armed Forces may not reject ships that are in the area and that the surveillance is likely to be less than in Sweden's territorial waters.

It has already been known that two of the Swedish Armed Forces' ships moved in the area – with disabled transponders – the days before the explosion. According to the authority, they were engaged in “reconnaissance”, but for some reason they want to keep other details secret, even though the explosion has already occurred.