Germany’s domestic equivalent of the FBI is considering leads pointing towards Ukraine being the author of last year’s explosions which destroyed a key energy pipeline in the Baltic Sea.
Seriously argued theories fingering every party to the Ukraine War for the Nord Stream blast have been made since underwater explosive charges took out the key route for importing natural gas from Russia to Europe last year. Yet according to a new report published by a group of European broadcasters and publications, Germany’s FBI-equivalent the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) is now looking into leads that implicate Ukraine.
In a summary of the claims made by outlets including Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung, Sweden’s Expressen, and Denmarks Berlingske published by German broadcaster Tagesschau it is reported a yacht rented from a Baltic port at the time of the blasts which was subsequently discovered to have explosives residue onboard is being considered in investigations.
While the reports cite anonymous sources, the Tagesschau report emphasises authorities in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden — the governments leading on the Nord Stream blast investigations — and Ukraine has not commented on these claims publicly.
It is alleged the small yacht ‘Andromeda’ was rented through a series of shell companies including a fake travel agent based in Poland by a group of Ukrainians who, it is claimed, were travelling on forged Bulgarian and Romanian passports. It was allegedly at sea in the area, including a port call close to the site of the blast, in the days around the act of sabotage against the underwater pipes.
The Times of London reports claims that traces of a “military-grade and underwater-deployable” explosive were found on a table onboard the ‘Andromeda’ and that:
German police are reported to be concentrating on the Andromeda, a yacht hired by a mysterious Polish company from the north German port of Rostock in the weeks before the attack…. German authorities think the attack could only have been carried out with help from a state security service and have uncovered evidence that may point to Ukrainian involvement…
Sweden’s Expressen claims Germany shifted its focus onto the hired yacht after a tip-off from another, unnamed, “Western intelligence service”. The reports also specifically express the possibility that the explosive traces on the hired yacht could be a ‘red herring’ intended to deceive.
The claims are a development of similar details released in March this year, and just one of a series of theories surrounding the Nord Stream blast. Others include the presence of Russian ships in the area at the time of the blast — allegedly discounted by German intelligence — claims that Poland had a strategic interest in seeing it destroyed, and allegations it was the work of the United States.
Indeed, immediately after the blast some immediately leapt to the conclusion it was the work of America, with a Polish politician writing “Thank You, USA” right after the news broke. He later deleted the Tweet.