The discovery of this object comes six months after sections of the pipeline were sabotaged following three explosions in late September 2022, preventing Russian natural gas from being transported to Germany and the rest of Europe. The blasts occurred in the exclusive economic zones of Sweden and Denmark, and both nations say the explosions were deliberate. (Related: US blocking Russian efforts to establish an independent, UN-led probe on Nord Stream sabotage.)
The object was discovered by the Danish Energy Agency as it was conducting an inspection of the last remaining intact portion of the pipeline in Danish waters in collaboration with Swiss-based operator Nord Stream 2 AG. The agency released a photo of the object on Thursday, March 23, showing a cylindrical object approximately 40 centimeters tall (15.75 inches) and 10 centimeters wide (3.94 inches).
Without making any definitive claims, the Danish agency said it is possible that the object is a maritime smoke buoy and that it "does not pose an immediate safety risk."
"With a view to further clarify the nature of the object, Danish authorities have decided to salvage the object with assistance from the Danish Defense," said the agency in a statement.
But before the Danish Energy Agency begins retrieval and salvaging operations, it has invited Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom to participate in an investigation to figure out what the object is.
Gazprom holds a majority stake – 51 percent – in the companies that own the Nord Stream pipelines, with the remaining 49 percent ownership stake divided among German, Dutch and French corporations. In light of Gazprom's status as the majority stakeholder in the two pipelines, the Danish agency extended an invitation to cooperate in the investigation.
"The Danish Energy Agency has in that context, invited the owner of the pipeline, Nord Stream 2 AG, to participate in the operation," said the agency, adding that it was awaiting a response.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Friday, March 24, that it was a positive sign that Denmark invited Nord Stream 2 AG to help salvage the unidentified object.
"It's certainly positive news when the owner of the pipeline is invited to take part in very important phases of the investigation," said Peskov. "It is critically important to determine what kind of object it is, whether it is related to this terrorist act – apparently it is – and to continue this investigation. And this investigation must be transparent."
The discovery of this object comes around one week after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that a ship rented by Gazprom had discovered an antenna-like object about 30 kilometers (18.64 miles) from the explosion sites. Putin suggested this antenna could have been used in the sabotage to remotely trigger the explosive charges planted on the pipelines.
Learn more about the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage at Pipelines.news.
Watch this episode of the "Health Ranger Report" as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, discusses how the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines demonstrates America's willingness to conduct acts of terrorism against the people of Western Europe.