An event in 2015, when a mine explosive was found near the “Nord Stream” gas pipeline, has been recycled by the Russian authorities. This event brought to attention by the representative of Gazprom and reposted by Russian officials, targets NATO member countries through disinformation. The release of this information comes in the middle of the war started by Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Patris Pustina

In October of this year, the Russian Embassy in Albania reposted a reaction of the spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zaharova. The reposted comment was a return to the 2015 event where, according to Zaharova, the “Sea Fox” device that was found near the Nord Stream gas pipeline belonged to NATO.

Here is what Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zaharova wrote:

“Today, the representative of Gazprom, Sergej Kupriyanov, recalled the events that took place in the “Nord Stream” gas pipeline, which have already been recorded earlier. This case is well known.

On 6 November 2015, during a scheduled visual inspection of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, the NATO mine destroyer Sea Fox was discovered lying in the space between the strands, or rather under one of them. It was a point 651 km below the depth of 40 meters.

At that time the explosive device was removed by the Swedish armed forces. Gas transportation, interrupted due to the emergency, resumed. NATO stated that the underwater minesweeper had “lost” during training.

Screenshot from the post of the Embassy of Russia in Albania on Facebook

Drawing attention to this event was intended to insinuate that the explosions of September 26 in the Nord Stream were caused by Western countries and NATO, intended as ‘proof’ of the capacity to sabotage the presence of the device “Sea Fox” between the pipes of the gas pipeline in 2015 .

Russia began raising accusations against the West in the first days after the explosion. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated at the time (in 2015) that the explosion was “sabotage” by the Anglo-Saxons, meaning the United Kingdom or the United States. Meanwhile, on October 29, Russia’s Ministry of Defense accused the British Navy of participating “in the planning, provision and execution of the terrorist act in the Baltic Sea on September 26 to undermine the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.”

The minesweeper “Sea Fox” was spotted on November 6, 2015 near the pipeline. According to the official Swedish announcement at the time, the device belonged to the Swedish Armed Forces. The device was lost when the cable controlling it snapped during an exercise in the spring of 2014. It did not pose a risk of damage to the pipeline, because the rupture of the cable had caused the device to disarm automatically. The Swedish Armed Forces removed and destroyed the device after it was located on 6 November 2015.

As admitted by the Swedish authorities themselves, the device “Sea Fox” belonged to Sweden. Sweden is not yet a member of NATO, therefore even in 2015, when the device was found near the Nord Stream, this country was not part of it. Only after the start of the war in Ukraine, Sweden applied to become a member of the Alliance, on May 16, 2022.

Moreover, in the 2015 reports, the Russian media did not describe the “Sea Fox” as the property of NATO, or any member state. The state news agency RIA Novosti referred to the device at the time as “a Swedish “Sea Fox” minesweeper”, while the Russian authorities today return to the same event by manipulating the facts.