US ‘most likely’ blew up Nord Stream – Putin

5 months ago 99

Washington or its allies are the probable culprits in the sabotage of the Russian gas pipelines, the president has claimed

The bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipelines was most likely carried out by the US or someone acting on its orders, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Thursday.

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines each comprised two separate channels linking Russia and Germany. Three out of the four lines were destroyed in a series of explosions near the Danish island of Bornholm in September 2022, severing Germany’s direct energy ties to Russia and leaving its gas-dependent economy reliant on more expensive American liquefied natural gas.

Commenting on the issue during his marathon Q&A event with the media and general public on Thursday, Putin pointed out that the EU itself is at fault for any gas supply problems it is facing.

“Strangely enough, they tried to blame it [shortages] on us, claiming that we are not selling something,” the Russian leader stated. “This is complete nonsense, because it was not us who closed the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline in Poland, the second branch of the pipeline through the territory of Ukraine, it was Ukraine who did it. We didn’t blow up Nord Stream 1 and partly Nord Stream 2. This was done, most likely, by the Americans or someone at their instruction.” 

Putin noted that one of the Nord Stream 1 pipelines is in working condition, but Germany is resisting the resumption of gas supplies. Russian energy giant Gazprom is a reliable partner and fulfills all its contractual obligations, the president stressed.

Investigations into the Nord Stream sabotage have so far failed to definitively identify the culprit. Some have claimed that the attack was orchestrated by Kiev, while others have pointed the finger at the US.

READ MORE: Russia could sue over Nord Stream attack

American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has claimed that US President Joe Biden ordered the CIA to blow up the pipelines. Citing sources in the intelligence community, Hersh alleged that CIA divers working with the Norwegian Navy had planted remotely-triggered bombs on the connectors last summer, using a NATO exercise in the region as cover.

Putin said in March that he “fully agrees” with Hersh’s conclusions, and that the US benefited from the attack due to its position as a competing gas supplier to Europe.

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