Nord Stream pipelines: Ukrainian government denies involvement in sabotage
Ukraine has denied any involvement in the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines after a media report cited new intelligence that a “pro-Ukrainian group” was responsible for attacks targeting Russian gas deliveries to Europe last year. may be behind
The dismissal by a senior Ukrainian official on Tuesday came in response Reported by the New York Timeswhich cited new intelligence reviewed by United States officials.
“While I enjoy putting together fun conspiracy theories about the (Ukrainian) government, I have to say: (Ukraine) has nothing to do with the Baltic Sea disaster and ‘pro-(Ukraine) sabotage groups.’ There is no information about,” Mykhailo Podoliak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on Twitter.
The New York Times said new intelligence reviewed by US officials suggested a group loyal to Ukraine but operating independently of the government in Kiev.
Mystery has surrounded who may have been responsible for the brazen sabotage last September that damaged two pipes carrying Russian gas to the European Union and targeted an important source of income for Moscow. Both pipelines were shut down at the time of the attack, which came months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A source familiar with US intelligence told CNN that the assessment was not conducted with high confidence and is not the dominant view of the intelligence community, and that the US has not yet identified any perpetrators of the attack.
There is a segment of the US intelligence community that believes pro-Ukraine actors may have intended to sabotage the pipelines because of how Russia was weaponizing them against Ukraine and Europe.
The source said the intelligence community has no evidence, however, that Ukrainian leaders, including Zelensky, knew about or were involved in the pipeline sabotage.
The incident, which involved underwater explosions before the pipelines ruptured in several locations, remains a major point of contention between Russia and the West.
Pipelines The pipeline, which connects Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea to deliver gas from Russia to the European Union, was controversial long before the Kremlin waged war on Ukraine, largely due to fears of European dependence on Russian energy.
Their loss became another twist in the energy standoff that spread after the invasion as Europe tried to wean itself off Russian fuel.
Russia, which in the past has publicly denied involvement in killing the pipelines and blamed the West for the blasts, has also pushed back on the latest assessment that appeared in the media.
A Kremlin spokesman described the report as a “blatant disinformation campaign coordinated by the media”.
“Obviously, the authors of the attack want to divert attention. This is an obvious disinformation campaign coordinated by the media,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian state media RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
Several investigations by European authorities are ongoing.
Swedish prosecutors confirmed in November that the explosions at the pipelines were an act of sabotage after investigators found evidence of explosives at the sites, but their preliminary investigation has not yet determined any charges.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, John Kirby, the US National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, referred to probing questions from European officials and said they would “not proceed beyond that investigative process.”
“Several of our European partners – in fact, three of them in Germany, Sweden and Denmark – have already started investigations into what happened to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and those investigations have not stopped. They are still working hard on it,” Kirby said.
In the days following the incident, the sight of Russian aircraft operating in the area where the leak occurred raised suspicions about possible Russian involvement, which attracted the attention of both European and US officials at the time because the region It was believed to be the only actor. Both the ability and motivation to intentionally damage pipelines.
So far no evidence has been presented to the public as to which parties are responsible.
During the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi earlier this month, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed the need for an “impartial and prompt investigation” into the blasts.