MOSCOW (Sputnik): Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed claims that Ukrainian activists may be responsible for the destruction of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines.
“I am certain that this is complete nonsense,” he said during an interview with Russian media.
Earlier, a US-based newspaper suggested that some pro-Ukrainian group might have carried out the Nord Stream sabotage and that Kiev might have been unaware of that group’s plans.
Putin, however, pointed out that only specialists backed by a state that possesses “certain technologies” could carry out the work so deep underwater so as to create explosions powerful enough to take out the pipelines.
He also suggested that one should probably consider who would be interested in the destruction of Nord Stream. Theoretically, he continued, the United States could have been one such entity as the act of sabotage helped them cut the flow of Russian gas to the European market so that the US could supply greater amounts of its own, much more expensive liquefied natural gas instead.
The Russian president added that, while repairing the damaged Nord Stream pipelines would be no mean feat, it probably could be done, even though such an undertaking would require time, money and new technologies.
He noted, however, that the Nord Stream project would have a future only if Russia’s European partners were to remember their own national interest, as it would seem that, currently, they are doing whatever they are told “from across the ocean.”
In September 2022, a series of explosions resulted in severe damage to three of the four Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines that run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea and allowed direct transportation of Russian natural gas to Germany.
As a result of these blasts, the stricken pipelines were rendered inoperable.
In February 2022, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh named the United States leadership as the mastermind behind the pipelines’ destruction.
In his expose, Hersh alleged that a team of US Navy divers planted explosive charges on the pipelines during summer 2022, to be detonated remotely three months later so as to avoid suspicion.
The charges were planted under the cover of a NATO naval exercise conducted in the region at that time, Hersh said, citing his sources, adding that the operation was carried out by the United States with assistance from Norway.