Denmark has announced the recovery of a ‘mystery’ object spotted by underwater cameras which was lying next to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Russia’s Vladimir Putin had called it suspicious and said it must be retrieved and investigated as possible evidence linked to the sabotage bombing.
The Danish Energy Agency said Wednesday that the object was a “smoke buoy”. It was found at a depth of 73 meters, according to the agency, and “representative of the owner, Nord Stream 2 AG, was present during the salvage.”
Upon the retrieval, the object is no longer deemed suspicious. “Investigations indicate that the object is an empty maritime smoke buoy, which is used for visual marking,” the energy agency said in the statement, and emphasized, “the object does not pose a safety risk.”
Russian state media also noted the successful recovery of the object, quoting Danish officials, and did not repeat any further accusations centered on the object.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov last week said “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.”
This after President Putin asserted that it could be a signal antenna to activate an explosive in that part of the pipeline while calling for an investigation in cooperation with Russia’s Nord Stream 2 AG.
Additionally, an underwater photo put out last Thursday by the Danish energy agency drove further speculation as to what the odd-looking object could be.
Moscow this week mounted a failed attempt to get the UN Security Council to approve the opening of a formal independent investigation into who was behind the sabotage attacks last September. Monday’s Russian-drafted text was only approved by Russia, China, and Brazil – while the remainder 12 council members abstained. It would need nine ‘yes’ votes to pass.