Explosion at Nord Stream 2. Two ships invisible to radars were discovered
SpaceKnow’s systems analyzing the satellite data have detected two large ships with tracking devices disabled in the Nord Stream 2 area a few days before his damage in September – reports the Wired portal. The company communicated its findings to NATO officials who asked for more information.
According to an analysis carried out by SpaceKnow, a company dealing with satellite data monitoring, two ships, each ranging from 95 to 130 meters in length, swam within a few kilometers of the Nord Stream 2 spill sites.
NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu did not comment on Wired’s “details of the sources used,” but confirmed that the Alliance believed the incident was “a deliberate and irresponsible act of sabotage“and therefore increased NATO presence in the Baltic and North Seas.
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SpaceKnow has determined that 25 vessels were crossing the Nord Stream 2 spill area in the weeks prior to damage, but only two of them had Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders disabledwhich, in accordance with international law, must be used by large vessels in order to navigate and avoid potential collisions with other vessels.
Vessels that do not use them are often suspected of being involved in illegal fishing or human trafficking, emphasizes Wired.
– (Turning off AIS) is not a common practice, so the ships had a secret military mission or some secret purpose, as the Baltic Sea is one of the busiest seas in the world in terms of commercial traffic – said Otto Tabuns, director of the non-governmental organization Baltic Security Foundation.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines were damaged at the end of September. The operator of Nord Stream 1, the company Nord Stream AG, announced in early November that two craters with a depth of 3 to 5 m were found on the seabed, resulting from the explosion. The outbreaks are investigated by the Swedish prosecutor’s office, and the Danish and German authorities also conducted separate investigations of the damage sites on Nord Stream.
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