March 20, 2023

Leaked US intelligence suggests a pro-Ukrainian group could also be behind the September 2022 assaults on the fuel pipelines.

NATO Secretary-Normal Jens Stoltenberg has known as for warning following media reviews {that a} pro-Ukrainian group could also be accountable for blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines supplying Russian power to Europe.

Whereas not pointing to any official Ukrainian involvement, a New York Instances report revealed on Tuesday stated intelligence reviewed by United States officers discovered a pro-Kyiv group could also be behind the assaults in September, which turned a flashpoint between the West and Russia after final yr’s Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“There are ongoing nationwide investigations and I feel it is proper to attend till these are finalized earlier than we are saying something extra about who was behind it,” Stoltenberg stated on Wednesday.

The explosions on the pipelines connecting Russia and Germany passed off on September 26 within the unique financial zones of Sweden and Denmark. Each nations have concluded the blasts had been deliberate however haven’t stated who could be accountable.

Russia, which has beforehand blamed the West, seized on the information on Wednesday to demand a clear investigation wherein it additionally needs to take part.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov advised the media reviews had been a coordinated bid to divert consideration and questioned how US officers might assume something concerning the assaults with out an investigation.

Ukrainian Protection Minister Oleksii Reznikov stated the media reviews had been a “little bit unusual” and had “nothing to do” with the Ukrainian authorities.

Reznikov stated he was not apprehensive concerning the prospect of media reviews weakening help for Ukraine.

Germany warned towards “leaping to conclusions”.

“We’ve to make a transparent distinction whether or not it was a Ukrainian group, whether or not it could have occurred on Ukrainian orders, or a pro-Ukrainian group [acting] with out information of the federal government,” German Protection Minister Boris Pistorius stated on Wednesday.

Pistorius stated on the sidelines of a summit in Stockholm that the chance was “equally excessive” that it might have been a “false flag operation staged guilty Ukraine”.

In the meantime, Germany’s federal prosecutor confirmed that investigators had raided a ship in January which will have been used to move the explosives used to explode the pipelines, however stated there was no dependable data but on motives, perpetrators, or whether or not the assault was state- sponsored.

European Union overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell advised reporters that there was “no suspicion towards workers of the German firm that rented out the ship”.

“So long as investigations into the Nord Stream blasts are ongoing, we can not draw conclusions,” Borrell stated.

Germany’s ARD broadcaster and Zeit newspaper stated on Tuesday that the operation to position explosives on the seabed was carried out by six individuals, 5 males and one lady, who used cast passports.

They transported explosives on a yacht rented from a German constitution firm by a Poland-based agency owned by Ukrainian residents, in line with the report and prosecutors.

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