Sweden has long said it suspected an unknown state actor, and an official statement from its top prosecutor's office now claims:
"The conclusion of the investigation is that there is no Swedish jurisdiction and that the investigation should therefore be closed." This is because "nothing has emerged to indicate that Sweden or Swedish citizens were involved in the attack that took place in international waters."Still, the same statement says they now have a "good picture" of the incident after a "systematic and thorough" investigation and this has ultimately led to the conclusion that "Swedish jurisdiction is missing" - according to Swedish Public Prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist. "It is not Sweden's task to continue this investigation."
"We have had good international cooperation with several countries, above all Denmark and Germany, where we have continuously shared information and situational images," it said, also underscoring that Germany's investigation continues, but necessarily under the "secrecy that prevails for international judicial cooperation."
Also disappointing is the following: "I will also not be able to comment anything further on the conclusions of the Swedish investigation or comment on any suspected persons in the Swedish investigation," Ljungqvist said.
Presumably, Russia fully cooperated as well, given the statement is absent some kind of censure on this front, and long gone are the early days after the blast of blaming Russia for the destruction of its own vital pipeline, as was common in Western media in the weeks that followed Sept. 26, 2022. However, the Kremlin has repeatedly complained that it has been denied access or any insight into the ongoing Western investigations.
At the same time, Russia has at various times laid blame on the US, Britain and Ukraine for the covert operation which permanently severed this key method of access supplying energy to the lucrative European market.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday Russia will now follow closely what Germany will do to investigate the explosions. "Of course, now we need to see how Germany itself reacts to this, as a country that has lost a lot in relation to this terrorist attack," he said. Moscow further suspects that given the likelihood of Western intelligence services or Ukraine being behind the sabotage attack, this is all a big stall tactic and that each investigation will ultimately point nowhere.
Responsible Statecraft points out that "All signs since the year anniversary of the blasts have been pointing — in bright neon — to Ukraine as the culprit." However, legendary journalist Seymour Hersh has been reporting since February 2023 that an elite team of US Navy deep sea divers with the assistance of the CIA as well as Norwegian intelligence did it. He has not backed off his bombshell findings despite the mainstream press seeming to settle on a narrative saying a rogue group of Ukrainian operators sailing on a small boat were behind it.
Hersh said the covert op had the full knowledge and oversight of the Biden administration, but naturally US officials have consistently denied it in those rare instances they are publicly asked about Hersh's reporting.
Hersh has written a follow-up and bit of a retrospective this week, saying
"Thursday marks one year since I reported President Joe Biden's decision in the fall of 2022 to send a signal of resolve to Vladimir Putin by destroying Nord Stream 1 and 2, the Russian natural gas pipelines. Nord Stream 1 had turned Germany into the most powerful economic force in Western Europe.""I won't dwell on the failure of the mainstream media to follow up on that story — some reporters, as I learned decades ago, have inside sources and others do not," Hersh wrote. And on the failed investigations:
Nothing more about the cause of the underwater bombings has been heard since from either Sweden or Denmark, although both nations knew, as I have written, that the US was practicing underwater diving in the Baltic Sea for months before the explosions. The failure of the two nations to complete their inquiry may have stemmed from the fact, as I was told, that some senior officials in both countries understood precisely what was going on.Below are more excerpts from Hersh's latest piece entitled The Nord Stream Pipelines and the Perils of Containment...
* * *
Putin would have canceled the invasion
It is now widely accepted that Putin would have delayed or canceled the invasion if Secretary of State Antony Blinken had assured him that Ukraine would not be permitted to join NATO. That promise was not made. Instead, Biden publicly warned Putin two weeks before the Russians attacked that America would destroy the newly constructed pipeline, Nord Stream 2, that was prepared to funnel Russian gas to Germany. Putin had already slowed down and then cut off the earlier pipeline, Nord Stream 1, that began delivering gas to Germany a decade earlier.A CIA plan to convince Putin to "back off"
The cheap gas helped propel Germany into becoming the dominant manufacturing entity in Western Europe. Since the late 1950s, the United States and its Western European allies had worried about the political impact of Russian energy.
The idea of blowing up Nord Stream 1 and 2 had come from the American intelligence community, spearheaded at the time by the CIA. The community had been asked in late 2021 for options — American actions — that could convince Putin to back off. It was with this understanding that a most secret CIA unit was organized to find a way to do what President Biden wanted: to present Putin with a threat that could stop the Russian president from going to war. Bolstered by the CIA's confidence, Biden stunned the intelligence community by threatening to blow up Nord Stream at a White House news conference on February 7, 2022, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz standing at his side.Sullivan blamed Russia first
The CIA team, ensconced in secrecy in Norway, continued to work on its assignment, and found a way to get the complicated job done by early spring. The understanding then, in the view of some of the planners, was for Biden to pull the trigger and publicly tell Putin that he had done what he threatened to do and he, Putin, had to understand that he was dealing with an American president whose words were to be taken seriously. But Biden changed his mind at the last minute — a time had been set for the underwater detonation of bombs that had been planted earlier — and the operation was put on hold. The CIA team was given no explanation, and the American bombs were left in place, to be triggered whenever Biden chose to do so.
Sullivan — who, as I reported last February, was the major player in generating a secret potential pre-war threat to Russia — provided an answer that was breathtaking in its obfuscation. "First," he responded, "Russia has done what it frequently does when it is responsible for something . . . which is to make accusations that it was really someone else who did it. We've seen that repeatedly over time." He said that the president was also clear — which he was not - that "there is more work to do on the investigation before the United States government is prepared to make an attribution in this case." The White House, he said, would not make a "definitive determination" until its allies in the region concluded their work.Russia excluded from investigations
Sullivan said that Russia's suggestion that the US was involved in the bombing was "flat out false. Russian know they're false. But, of course, that is part of their playbook."
Sweden and Denmark, whose governments had every reason to know what had taken place, announced within days of the explosions that they would work together to investigate the explosions. On October 2, Germany said it would work with Sweden and Denmark on the inquiry. Twelve days later the Russian foreign ministry expressed its "bewilderment" at being excluded from the inquiry. On that day, too, Sweden said it would not join in the inquiries because it would involve the transfer of information related to Sweden's national security.Hersh in his new note goes on to cite Emmanuel Todd, a French demographer and political scientist, who explains that that "one of the great goals of American politics, and therefore of NATO, was to stop the inevitable reconciliation of Russia and Germany" given that despite US-led sanctions it remained that Russia was "evincing economic stability." Hersh cites him to conclude:
"This was a great source of fear," Todd said, "and that is why the Americans" — he cited my Nord Stream exposé — "blew up the Nord Stream pipeline."The full Hersh piece can be accessed at this Substack here.