One of the vessels, a tug named SB-123 capable of launching mini-submarines, was located in the area on September 21 and 22, they found. (File image: Reuters)
The Russian navy ships were located using satellite imagery and intercepted radio communications from the Russian fleet, the four broadcasters, Danish DR, Norwegian NRK, Swedish SVT and Finnish Yle, said.
Three Russian Navy ships were seen in the Baltic Sea in the area of the Nord Stream pipeline explosions before the sabotage that cut off Russian gas flows to Europe in September last year, according to an investigation by four Nordic broadcasters.
The Russian Navy ships were located using satellite images and intercepted radio communications from the Russian fleet, the four broadcasters, Danish DR, Norwegian NRK, Swedish SVT and Finnish Yle, said.
Authorities in Denmark, Sweden and Germany said the explosions that ruptured the newly built Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines that connect Russia and Germany across the Baltic Sea were deliberate. But they have yet to release the results of their respective investigations.
Nordic broadcasters discovered that in June and September last year, Russian ships left naval bases in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad to go to the area northeast of the Danish island of Bornholm, where three of the four pipeline leaks occurred.
One of the vessels, a tug named SB-123 capable of launching mini-submarines, was located in the area on September 21 and 22, they found.
Separately, the Danish Armed Forces confirmed to Reuters that a patrol vessel took 26 photos of a Russian submarine rescue vessel named SS-750 near the site of the Nord Stream explosion on September 22 from the last year, just days before the explosions.
The incident took place seven months after the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The Kremlin on Tuesday denied that Russian ships were involved in the sabotage and called for the publication of the results of the investigations.
Moscow has, without providing evidence, blamed the explosions on Western sabotage. The United States and Ukraine have denied having anything to do with the attacks, as has Russia.
The Russian vessels tracked by the four broadcasters had all turned off their AIS signal, an automatic tracking system used on board ships, they said. One of the ships in the area was the Russian Navy research vessel Sibiryakov, according to satellite images.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)