View taken from a Danish F-16 interceptor of the Nord Stream 2 gas leak just south of Dueodde, Denmark, on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. The Danish newspaper Information said Friday that photographs of a Russian vessel were taken near the pipelines several days before the explosion. File Photo by Danish Defence/UPI | License Photo
April 29 (UPI) -- Danish media has reported that a Russian navy vessel which specializes in underwater operations was seen near the Nord Stream gas pipleine prior to the explosions in September.
The Danish newspaper Information was able to confirm that the submarine rescue ship SS-750 was photographed in the Baltic Sea four days before explosions occurred. The revelations were obtained through a freedom of information request in Denmark.
"The Danish military confirmed that 26 photos of the Russian vessel were taken from a Danish patrol boat in the zone located east of Bornholm on 22 September 2022," Information said.
Nord Stream consists of two parallel networks that are designed to carry Russian natural gas through the Baltic Sea to Germany.
Sweden's National Seismology Center said there was an underwater blast in the area of the pipes at the time they lost pressure in September. The pipelines -- Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 -- had not been active but were still filled with natural gas when authorities noticed a sharp drop in pressure.
Finger-pointing carried on for months after the attack. The Russian Defense Ministry blamed the British military for blowing up the pipeline, without providing evidence. Authorities in Britain denied the allegation. Western allies have pointed at Russia, which had stopped delivering natural gas to Europe because of sanctions.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, meanwhile, suggested on his blog that the United States was behind the attack.
Mats Ljungqvist, the Swedish prosecutor in charge of the investigation, has said it may be difficult to pinpoint who was behind the explosion.
"We are working unconditionally and turning over every stone and leaving nothing to chance," said Ljungqvist said earlier this month. "Our hope is to be able to confirm who has committed this crime, but it should be noted that it likely will be difficult given the circumstances."