Nord Stream AG, or the operator of Nord Stream 1 pipeline, sent a specially equipped vessel on Thursday to investigate damage to the pipelines under the Baltic Sea.
Nord Stream AG, whose majority shareholder is Russia's state energy giant Gazprom, said the chartered vessel arrived at the location of damage in Sweden's exclusive economic zone.
The vessel, bearing the Russian flag, would have specialists aboard to assess the damage within a dayand investigation would take three to five days, the company said.
Nord Stream AG said it didn't have relevant permits to conduct an investigation until now.
Sweden, Denmark and Germany also investigate cause of leaks
The investigation comes in addition to an inquiry launched by Sweden's Armed Forces on Wednesday, which is separate from the federal investigation launched by Sweden.
Sweden, Denmark, Germany and now Nord Stream are all conducting their individual investigations to ascertain the cause of damages to the natural gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea.
Sweden and Denmark are looking into what happened last month because what they have called explosions on September 26 were in waters within their so-called exclusive economic zones.
Germany, where the pipelines terminate, also opened an investigation earlier this month, saying that a violent attack on energy supplies could impact the security of Germany.
Putin calls allegations of Russia blowing up pipeline 'crazy'
Relatedly, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a speech Thursday that allegations of Russia damaging the pipelines deliberately were "crazy."
Putin said in a speech one of the two pipelines of Nord Stream 2 under the sea was still working and contended that "Europe does not want to use it."
Russia cut off supplies to Europe via Nord Stream 1 at the end of August, while Nord Stream 2 never entered service because Germany halted the certification process shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Germany: Nord Stream 2 not likely to be intact
The German government said earlier Thursday it was unlikely that one of the two gas pipelines of Nord Stream 2 was intact.
"It's very likely that the act of sabotage with strong explosions had a negative impact on both pipeline routes and that the basic technical accessibility is therefore no longer guaranteed," the government said in response to a parliamentary inquiry by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
Extensive damage to the pipeline, cause not known
Swedish and Danish investigators have said little besides saying ruptures last month were caused by explosives and initial assessment by authorities indicated that leaks were not accidental.
Danish officials once again confirmed last week there had been "extensive damage" to the pipelines and the cause of the damage was "powerful explosions."
rm/sms (Reuters, AFP, AP)