In September 2022, a series of underwater explosions struck the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea. German, Swedish, Danish, Polish and even Russian police and intelligence services have been trying to unravel the secrets of the attack ever since, and it now appears that a breakthrough may occur. The Wall Street Journal.
Investigators say officials in the previous Polish government were slow to provide information and also withheld key evidence about alleged saboteurs' movements on Polish territory.
Therefore, they now hope that the new government in Warsaw, which took power in December 2023, can help shed light on the details of the attack.
European investigators have long believed that the attack originated from Ukraine via Poland. But, they said, due to the lack of full cooperation from Warsaw, it is difficult to determine whether the attack occurred with or without the knowledge of the previous Polish government.
Some senior European officials say they are considering turning to the office of Donald Tusk, Poland's new prime minister, to help investigate the sabotage operation.
The newspaper adds that any indication that Poland, a member of NATO, may be withholding information about an attack on an ally, could undermine confidence in the alliance, which is facing one of its biggest tests since its existence.
If Poland turns out to have had any role in the sabotage, Moscow may consider it an act of aggression on the part of NATO.
Investigators have no evidence of Polish government involvement in the bombings, but they believe that even if some Polish officials were involved, it may have been without the knowledge of the political leadership.
At the same time, they noted that Polish officials' efforts to obstruct their investigations made them increasingly suspicious of Warsaw's role and motives.
Most Western officials say a Ukrainian team was behind the sabotage operation, although Ukraine has denied any involvement. Russia believes the United States is responsible for the attack, which the United States has denied.
An investigation by Germany, Denmark and Sweden has so far found that the pipeline was blown up by a crew of six, including deep-sea divers, traveling on the pleasure yacht Andromeda. According to investigators, Andromeda stopped in all three countries, as well as in Poland.
According to the newspaper, a number of Polish agencies refused to share with European investigators the footage captured by security cameras of the suspects while the yacht was docked in a port in Poland.
European officials said that while the two Polish agencies investigating the case, prosecutors and border guards, appeared to be cooperating, other agencies, including officials from the ABW Homeland Security Office, did not answer questions and provided ambiguous or conflicting information.
In one case, Polish prosecutors told their European counterparts that no explosives were found aboard Andromeda, although no criminal investigation had been conducted. However, Poland's internal security service told European investigators that border guards who checked the crew never boarded the ship, which contradicts prosecutors' claims.
In September, Stanislaw Zarin, a senior official charged with overseeing Poland's security services, rejected findings that the Andromeda crew was behind the sabotage, saying the crew had received no military training and were merely tourists who “came to have fun.”
Around the same time, Poland's Internal Security Service, in cooperation with European investigators, distributed alleged intelligence that Andromeda had ties to Russian intelligence, which they believed was behind the attack. European investigators described this as misinformation.
Zarin said in a recent interview that Polish involvement was unlikely, as Russia was believed to be behind the sabotage.
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