Gazprom Had Already Found a NATO Explosive Device on Nord Stream in 2015
Oct. 10, 2022 (EIRNS)—In November 2015, a NATO unmanned underwater vehicle was found during a regular visual inspection of the Nord Stream pipeline, according to Gazprom official spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov during a television appearance on Rossiya-24, reports TASS.
“NATO said the [“Seafox”] underwater mine disposal vehicle was lost during exercises,” he remarked. “Such NATO exercises when the combat explosive device turned out to be exactly under our gas pipeline.”
The explosive device was deactivated by Swedish Armed Forces at that time and gas transport that had been halted due to the emergency was resumed, he said.
A contemporary press release from Nov. 12, 2015, attributed to Nord Stream senior management advisor Lars Grönstedt, states that
“The Swedish Armed Forces have successfully cleared the munitions object found near Nord Stream Line 2.... Nord Stream AG appreciates the professional and prompt assistance by the Swedish Armed Forces. Line 2, which had been closed at inlet as a precautionary measure, was reopened and resumed gas transportation.
“The piece of munitions was found in close proximity to the Nord Stream Line 2 on Nov. 6, 2015 during routine survey operations as part of annual integrity assessment activities of the Nord Stream offshore pipeline system. The location of the object was in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone approximately 120 km away from the island of Gotland. The relevant Swedish Authorities were informed and stayed in direct contact with Nord Stream until the object was successfully cleared.”
Recall that this year’s BALTOPS included unmanned underwater mine-clearing vehicles. The press release from the U.S. Navy says, “Scientists from five nations brought the latest advancements in Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) mine hunting technology to the Baltic Sea to demonstrate the vehicle’s effectiveness in operational scenarios. The BALTOPS Mine Counter Measure Task Group ventured throughout the Baltic region practicing ordnance location, exploitation, and disarming in critical maritime chokepoints.” Some of these operations are known to have occurred near to the three explosions that damaged the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in September 2022.