Stockholm: A fourth leak on the Nord Stream pipelines has been reported off southern Sweden, the Swedish news agency said Thursday.
Sweden's coast guards told news agency TT that they have a vessel on the site of the leak, off Sweden. All four detected leaks are in international waters, two near Sweden and two near Denmark.
The Nord Stream pipelines run through the Baltic to transport gas from Russia to Germany. Neither pipeline was operating, but both were filled with gas. The Danish and Swedish governments believe that the leaks off their countries were ``deliberate actions.''
Before the leaks were reported, explosions were recorded. A first explosion was recorded by seismologists early Monday southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm. A second, stronger blast northeast of the island that night was equivalent to a magnitude-2.3 earthquake. Seismic stations in Denmark, Norway and Finland also registered the explosions.
Some European officials and energy experts have said Russia is likely to blame for any sabotage _ it directly benefits from higher energy prices and economic anxiety across Europe _ although others cautioned against pointing fingers until investigators are able to determine what happened.
Speaking Wednesday before the fourth leak was reported, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said it would have taken a large explosive device to cause the damage.
Russia says US has 'control' of waters
Russia's foreign ministry on Thursday said ruptures to the Nord Stream pipelines that have caused gas leaks off the coasts of Denmark and Sweden occurred in territory that is "fully under the control" of US intelligence agencies.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a pro-Kremlin broadcast that Washington had "full control" over the waters around Denmark and Sweden where four leaks have been detected on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which cross the floor of the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany.
"It happened in the trade and economic zones of Denmark and Sweden. There are NATO-centric countries," Zakharova said an interview with the Soloviev Live online broadcast on Thursday.
"They are countries that are completely controlled by the US intelligence services." Denmark is a member of the NATO military alliance, while Sweden's membership is pending after it abandoned its historic policy of non-alignment following Russia's attack of Ukraine.