Russian Spy Chief Claims West Was Behind Nord Stream Sabotage
Russia's top spy said that Moscow has intelligence indicating that the West was behind what he described as a "terrorist act" against the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea.
To remind, a sharp drop in pressure on both Nord Stream pipelines was registered last Monday, and explosions were detected which led to speculation about who sabotaged this massive Russian asset.
Neither Nord Stream 1 nor 2 were in operation when the ruptures were discovered, but both contained gas. Nord Stream AG, the operator of the pipelines, said it expects the gas leak to stop by Monday, October 3 – and added that it couldn’t access the area to assess the damage.
The EU said it suspected sabotage caused the damage to the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in Swedish and Danish waters, both sides blamed each other, but the White House dismissed any Russian allegations that it was behind the incidents.
Sergei Naryshkin, the director of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, said on Russian state television that they have materials that point to a Western trace in the organization and implementation of these terrorist acts
According to Reuters, the spy chief's remarks are the most direct public accusation against the West from a senior Russian official. He did not say what evidence Russia had but said the West was trying to obscure who carried out the attack.
"The West is doing everything to hide the true perpetrators and organizers of this international terrorist act," Naryshkin said. To clear things up, the Foreign Intelligence Service or SVR is the direct successor to the once mighty First Chief Directorate of the KGB.
Reuters also added that the Kremlin declined to comment on Naryshkin's remarks but said there needed to be a thorough international investigation into the incidents.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also blamed the United States and its allies for blowing up the undersea Nord Stream pipelines, adding more fuel to the fire. Putin did not offer any evidence for the claim, but Russia has already said that the U.S. would profit from attacks on Europe's energy infrastructure.
"The sanctions were not enough for the Anglo-Saxons – they moved onto sabotage. It is hard to believe but it is a fact that they organized the blasts on the Nord Stream international gas pipelines. They began to destroy the pan-European energy infrastructure. It is clear to everyone who benefits from this. Of course, he who benefits did it," Putin said, reported by Reuters.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova supported Putin’s claim that Washington stood to gain from the pipelines being disrupted. Putin's and Zakharova’s accusations were dismissed by both European countries and the United States.
Reuters also reported that Sweden's energy minister said it was "very likely" that the attack on the pipelines was done on purpose by a state actor.
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