Denmark Ends Nord Stream Probe With No Charges

The country found “deliberate sabotage” but wouldn’t continue probe to find out who was responsible. It’s the second U.S. ally in the past month to end an investigation into the pipeline explosions.

A Royal Danish Air Force officer testing the wind during joint military exercises with the U.S. at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in 2019. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua J. Garcia)

By Julia Conley
Common Dreams

Denmark this week became the latest country to close its investigation into the Nord Stream pipelines underwater explosions in September 2022 that ended gas supplies from Russia to Germany.

Danish authorities said Monday they found “deliberate sabotage” of the Russian and European-owned pipelines, but wouldn’t go further in their probe to confirm who was behind the blasts.

“The assessment is that there are not sufficient grounds to pursue a criminal case,” said the Danish police, prompting criticism from Russian officials and other critics.

Both Russia and the United States have been blamed for the explosions seven months after Russia invaded Ukraine. 

The leaks — which experts said led to the single largest release of methane gas due to human activity — were discovered beneath the Baltic Sea, off the coast of the Danish island of Bornholm. Seismic institutes found that two explosions had occurred underwater just before the leaks were recorded.

Russian energy giant Gazprom owns a majority stake in the pipelines, with German, Dutch, and French companies also owning interests. Weeks before the leaks were discovered, Russia had intensified tensions in Europe by cutting gas supplies in suspected retaliation for sanctions against Moscow.

The U.S. was a longtime critic of the Nord Stream pipelines, arguing they would increase European dependence on Russia for energy. 

Just before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden said in a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that a Russia offensive would push the U.S. to “bring an end to” the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

But the U.S. has denied involvement in the explosions, calling veteran journalist Seymour Hersh’s February 2023 report of U.S. sabotage “false and complete fiction.”

Hersh reported, based on an anonymous source who had “direct knowledge of the operational planning,” that Biden had authorized U.S. Navy divers to plant remotely triggered explosives that destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines, enlisting the help of the Norwegian Navy and secret service. 

In March 2023, weeks after Hersh’s report was released, the U.S. and several Western allies abstained in a defeated United Nations Security Council resolution to launch an international probe, favored by Russia, into the Nord Stream explosions. 

March 27, 2023: Members of the U.N. Security Council abstaining from a Russian resolution to investigate sabotage of Nord Stream pipeline. (UN Photo/Manuel Elías)

Earlier this month, Sweden concluded its investigation, saying the case did not fall under its jurisdiction and noting that they had given “material that can be used as evidence” to German authorities for their probe. Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said that the “primary assumption is that a state is behind it.”

The German federal prosecutor’s investigation is ongoing.

Journalist Thomas Fazi suggested U.S. allies have dropped their probes because they are “terrified of actually finding the culprit.”

The question of who caused the Nord Stream gas leaks, said author Tony Norfield, “has troubled Swedish and Danish investigators so much, they have closed their inquiries. Just in case they uncover something embarrassing.”

Julia Conley is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

19 comments for “Denmark Ends Nord Stream Probe With No Charges

  1. Robert
    February 29, 2024 at 21:34

    No one in Western governments knows who blew up the pipeline, but everyone in every Global South government does know. Both the Ukraine war and the pipeline sabotage are like a springboard for the BRICS and the multi polar world.

  2. Bushrod Lake
    February 29, 2024 at 11:32

    We may be disappointed, depressed and so forth, but remember “everything changes but change”. So as things deteriorate in the West
    I’m looking for other countries and peoples to emerge. Really this has to happen as unpleasant as it is to contemplate. We need to avoid taking down the whole planetary social system with our modern weapons, available for the 1st time in human history (biological weapons, nuclear weapons).
    We can choose now wether to end in rubble or a modest paradise of continuing existence.

  3. Mike
    February 28, 2024 at 17:43

    Gas (LNG) from USA and Qatar and that piped from other friendly ally Norway is still costing the European consumer 3x the price paid before the Blinken-Biden pact bounced us into the Ukraine conflict. The market dictates that if supply is too cheap, you cut off the cause.
    Of course, making rich corporations richer is a price we all love paying.

  4. bardamu
    February 28, 2024 at 16:29

    Qui bono.

  5. susan
    February 28, 2024 at 11:44

    Just chalk it up to another case of plausible deniability…

  6. Paul Citro
    February 28, 2024 at 06:52

    Denmark gives up all decency and swears allegiance to the US lead criminal club.

  7. Sick and tired
    February 28, 2024 at 06:50

    Would be hilarious if not so pathetic. What reasonably informed citizen of the western world did not immediately assume that the USA was responsible either directly or by proxy? President Biden let us in on the the plan early on.

  8. Willow
    February 27, 2024 at 23:23

    Politics aside, this environmental crime should not go unpunished. While Russia and the EU suffered financial damage, they are not the only parties at interest. The rest of the world was also harmed as a result of the biggest human caused methane release in history. We demand justice.

  9. February 27, 2024 at 23:08

    Europe is headed for a very dark age, whoever thought NATO would be its death wish

  10. Per-Olof Österholm
    February 27, 2024 at 17:36

    The Swedish magazine Folket I Bild gives in its February issue the answer to the sabotage of the Nordstream, who it was made, who did it and why. It is the professor Ola Tunander at the university of Oslo who has made the investigation. He has studied the military air traffic the crucial day in the Baltic, how the planes used their flight transponders and their traffic between American military bases in Northern Europe. The result of the investigation fully coincide with the report from Seymour Hearsh.
    Tunander visited Stockholm in December and gave the whole story to Folket I Bild. If Consortium is interested you can get more information.

  11. Vera Gottlieb
    February 27, 2024 at 15:17

    One more Yankee lapdog in the collection.

  12. Em
    February 27, 2024 at 13:47

    Correction: psychophant is spelled sychophant. Go figure the etymology of English words? Living is learning!

    • Piotr Berman
      February 28, 2024 at 10:52

      A useful new word, a psychopathic SyCophant is a psychophant.

      • Em
        February 28, 2024 at 11:45

        My feeling too!

  13. Em
    February 27, 2024 at 13:34

    Denmark is no longer the country I knew, first-hand, and admired in the 70’s during the time of Prime Minister Anke Jorgensen.
    Its external politics have turned volte-face 180 degrees; from a more independent, forward leaning social democracy to a backward conservative, hanger-on regime, wholly subservient; in the pocket of the US global hegemon of that time.
    Anders Fogh Rasmussen, political psychophant, ex prime minister, became the NATO C.E.O. preceding the still serving former Norwegian Prime Minister, the over enthusiastic supplicant, Jens Stoltenberg.
    All that’s left to say is ugh!
    If anyone expected a different decision on their ‘independent’ Nord Stream Probe, With No Charges, they are definitely living in dreamland.

  14. Lois Gagnon
    February 27, 2024 at 13:23

    “Terrified of actually finding the culprit.” That pretty well sums up the motivation to look no further. It makes you wonder if there is any embarrassment the Europeans won’t suffer in service to the US empire. They look pathetic from this vantage point. I can only imagine how bad it looks to their people.

  15. hetro
    February 27, 2024 at 13:02

    Apparently, along with power corrupts, it also encourages arrogance and a foolish sense of immunity. Biden’s statements here with his smug, “I promise you, we’ll be able to do it,” are vintage Joe as Tough Guy and Master of the Universe. Of course, nobody is taken in, especially when it comes to putting The Official Narrative up against Seymour Hersh. The investigation is thus already closed and has been for some time.

    • Francis Lee
      February 29, 2024 at 08:00

      Hmmm the ‘investigation’ was never opened. Why bother after all.

  16. Piotr Berman
    February 27, 2024 at 12:33

    “Earlier this month, Sweden concluded its investigation, saying the case did not fall under its jurisdiction”
    “The assessment is that there are not sufficient grounds to pursue a criminal case,” found Dennmark.”

    Reminds me an old Italian movie, “Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion”, head of homicide investigations in Rome kills his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his own responsibility for the crime. Investigators are depressed how difficult it is for them to whitewash, but whitewash they do.

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