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Swedish Defence Agency Warned of Nord Stream Pipeline Vulnerabilities for Years

The Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) has allegedly warned about the vulnerability of the Nord Stream pipeline to attack for well over a decade, arguing a single diver with an explosive charge could cripple the pipeline.

The FOI has been warning of the risks and vulnerabilities of the Nord Stream pipeline since at least 2007, three years before the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which travels through the Baltic sea, was even built, with explosions specifically mentioned in the report.

“For us, it was obvious that there were a number of security policy problems connected to Nord Stream. It should have raised significant question marks,” Mike Winnerstig, head of the security policy unit at FOI said, the newspaper Expressen reports.

Possible attacks on the pipeline were also part of crisis exercises for Swedish decision-makers that included the Russian military deploying off the coast of Sweden itself.

Mikael Odenberg, who served as Swedish Minister of Defense when the report was released in 2007, stated that while Sweden was against the construction of the pipeline it had no recourse to stop it saying, “The government’s assessment was that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea gave the Russians the right to build that cursed pipeline. Even though I had objections, there was no room to question the lawyers.”

Sweden, along with many other countries and various experts, have pointed to deliberate sabotage for the new four-known gas leaks that were discovered earlier this week in both the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, but few have outright blamed anyone for the alleged attack.

Outgoing Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde stated this week, “What we can establish is that it is a matter of probable sabotage,” and mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin. Some, including the Ukrainians, have directly blamed Russia for the alleged sabotage, while the Russians have questioned whether or not the United States may have been behind the incident.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented this week on a comment made by U.S. President Joe Biden in February prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in which President Biden stated the United States had ways to shut down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invaded Ukraine.

 

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