STOCKHOLM: According to a documentary shown Wednesday by Nordic public stations, Russia is accused of conducting an espionage program in the North Sea planning the sabotage of Northern European energy infrastructure.
The Kremlin denounced the media reports on Wednesday as a “mistake” and “without basis,” maintaining its call for “a transparent and impartial international inquiry” into the sabotage of the Baltic Sea Nord Stream gas pipelines in September 2022.
According to a joint investigation by public television stations NRK in Norway, DR in Denmark, SVT in Sweden, and YLE in Finland, Moscow is employing dozens of military and civilian vessels to collect data on wind farms and communication cables.
Nordic intelligence officers were highlighted in the article.
According to DR, the Russian spy program is known as GUGI, or the Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research.
The Admiral Vladimirsky, an oceanographic research vessel, was seen travelling towards big offshore windfarm parks off the coasts of the United Kingdom and Denmark at the end of 2022.
When a DR team approached the ship in a dinghy, masked and highly armed men arrived on deck, according to a Danish television extract.
According to the study, Russian intelligence is also accused of utilizing fishing trawlers, cargo ships, and even yachts outfitted with underwater and radio surveillance devices.
According to the documentary “The Shadow War,” Norwegian police who boarded two Russian fishing trawlers uncovered antiquated Soviet-era radios in a locked room, with an operator inside.
According to SVT, 27 suspect vessels have allegedly passed through or docked in Swedish seas in the last five years.
Over a ten-year span in Norway, at least 50 Russian warships “had the possibility of collecting information clandestinely,” according to a count based on the ships’ Automatic Identification System (AIS), according to NRK.
The documentary’s segments have already been released, with the whole report set to air late Wednesday.
It provoked an immediate response from Moscow, which accused the West for the dramatic sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, which connect Russia to Germany.
“The media in these countries have made a mistake in their investigation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
“They would rather accuse Russia without evidence.”
“We would prefer that they focus more attention on the attacks against Nord Stream as well as a transparent and impartial international inquiry,” he said.