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Bota

The attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, European intelligence reveals the facts that can prove that the attack came from Russia

The attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, European intelligence reveals the

European security officials on Monday and Tuesday observed Russian naval support vessels in the vicinity of leaks in the Nord Stream pipeline caused by underwater explosions, according to two Western intelligence officials and another source familiar with the matter, CNN reports.

It is unclear whether the Russian ships have anything to do with the explosions, the sources said, but confirmed that it is one of many factors that investigators will look into.

Submarines were also spotted not far from the areas where the pipeline damage occurred, one of the intelligence officials said.

Three US officials said the US still does not have a full explanation for what happened.

Russian ships routinely operate in the area, according to a Danish military official, who stressed that their presence does not necessarily indicate that Russia caused the damage.

"We see them every week," this person said. "Russian activities in the Baltic Sea have increased in recent years. They often test our awareness – both at sea and in the air.”

But the footage still casts further doubt on Russia, which has drawn the most attention from both European and US officials as the only actor in the region believed to have the ability and motivation to deliberately damage the pipelines.

US officials declined to comment on intelligence about the ships on Wednesday.

Both Denmark and Sweden are investigating, but an on-site inspection has yet to take place and details of what exactly caused the explosions remain unclear. A European official said an assessment by the Danish government is underway and it could take up to two weeks for an investigation to properly begin because the pressure in the pipes makes it difficult to get close to the site of the leaks. The prime ministers of both Denmark and Sweden said publicly on Tuesday that the leaks were the result of deliberate actions, not accidents, and Sweden's security service said in a statement on Wednesday that it cannot be ruled out “that a foreign power is behind it. US national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Tuesday night also called the leaks "obvious sabotage" in a tweet.

But senior Western officials have so far not attributed the attack to Russia or any other nation.