April 2, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed as “sheer nonsense” allegations that Ukrainians could possibly be behind the explosions that crippled the Nord Stream gasoline pipelines, suggesting the US might have been accountable.

The Russian chief insisted on Tuesday the US had a motive to hold out the assault within the Baltic Sea final 12 months, saying it needed to halt provides of low cost Russian pure gasoline to Europe and supply the continent with dearer liquefied pure gasoline.

“Who’s ? Theoretically, the US is fascinated about stopping the availability of Russian vitality to the European market and supplying volumes of its personal,” Putin advised an interviewer.

“Such an explosion, so highly effective and at such depth, might solely be carried out by consultants backed by all the potential of a state that has related applied sciences,” he added.

Putin spoke after The New York Occasions, The Washington Submit, and German media revealed tales final week citing unidentified American and different officers as saying there was proof Ukraine – or at the least “pro-Ukraine teams” – might have been accountable for the blasts. The Ukrainian authorities denied involvement.

Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper and German public broadcasters ARD and SWR reported that investigators consider 5 males and a lady used a yacht employed by a Ukrainian-owned firm in Poland to hold out the assault. German federal prosecutors confirmed a ship was searched in January however haven’t confirmed the reported findings.

The Kremlin final week described the claims about Ukrainian involvement within the explosions as a part of a cover-up by the West.

Putin mentioned the blasts have been carried out on a “state degree” and dismissed as “full nonsense” ideas an autonomous pro-Ukraine group was accountable.

A map of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Germany ‘occupied’

Germany’s response to the explosions confirmed the nation remained “occupied” and unable to behave independently, a long time after its give up on the finish of World Battle II, Putin mentioned.

“Germany was by no means a completely sovereign state,” Russian information businesses quoted Russia’s chief as telling state-owned Rossiya-1 TV channel.

“The Soviet Union at one level withdrew its forces and ended what amounted to an occupation of the nation. However that, as is well-known, was not the case with the Individuals. They proceed to occupy Germany.

The Nord Stream pipelines have been meant to carry Russian gasoline to Germany, although since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine a 12 months in the past Berlin has taken steps to cut back its reliance on Russian hydrocarbons.

Leaders in Berlin have been cautious about apportioning blame for the explosions with Protection Minister Boris Pistorius saying final week the blasts might have been a “false flag operation guilty Ukraine”.

Putin additionally poured scorn on European leaders for protecting quiet concerning the incident, saying their angle mirrored what he described as Europe’s subservient place in relations with the US.

“The Europeans have misplaced a gene of independence, sovereignty and nationwide curiosity,” Putin mentioned with a smirk. “The extra they [Americans] hit them on their noses or the highest of their heads, the decrease they bend and the broader they smile.”

Large methane gasoline launch

September’s explosions that hit the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines rendered them inoperable and brought about vital leaks of methane gasoline.

The leaks within the Baltic Sea led to what’s possible the most important single launch of climate-damaging methane ever recorded, the United Nations Atmosphere Program mentioned.

Western international locations, together with Germany, have mentioned they consider the blasts have been a deliberate act, however have declined to say who they suppose was accountable.

US officers initially instructed Russia might have been guilty. Russia blamed the US and Britain. Investigations by European nations, together with Denmark, by way of whose waters the pipeline travels, and Germany, have but to yield conclusive outcomes.

Putin voiced remorse that Russia has been denied entry to the probe’s supplies. He added the Russian Gazprom pure gasoline large has despatched a vessel to test the seabed close to the explosion and noticed what seemed to be an antenna close to a junction between the pipes about 30km (16 nautical miles) from the explosion website.

Putin alleged the antenna might have been placed on the seabed to set off one other explosive machine that didn’t detonate for a cause that continues to be unclear. He added Russia expects Danish authorities to kind a joint crew to completely test the world.

In a weblog put up Final month, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh quoted an unnamed supply with “direct information of operational planning” as saying the operation to explode the pipelines was carried out by the US navy and CIA – with direct approval given by US President Joe Biden.

The White Home dismissed Hersh’s report as “completely false and full fiction”.

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