Russian President Vladimir Putin says last year’s blasts targeting the Nord Stream gas pipelines were carried out on a state level, not by a pro-Ukraine group.
Putin on Tuesday rejected as “complete nonsense” the idea that an autonomous pro-Ukraine group was behind the attacks. He said no amateur group could commit such an act of sabotage.
“I’m sure this is complete nonsense. An explosion of this kind – of such power, at such depth, can only be carried out by specialists, and supported by the entire power of a state, possessing certain technologies,” Putin told reporters.
He also reiterated the Kremlin’s stance that the US has the capability to blow the natural gas pipelines. Putin was commenting on a report by the New York Times that cited US intelligence officials as saying that a Ukrainian group might have carried out the attacks on the pipelines.
The report presumed that the saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals or a combination of both.
The Russian embassy to the United States said last week the United States should try to prove it was not behind the destruction of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines connecting Russia and Germany under the Baltic Seathat connected Russia to Western Europe.
The embassy said in a statement Moscow considers the destruction of Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines “an act of international terrorism” and will not allow it to be swept under the rug.
Russia is asking the United Nations Security Council to order an independent inquiry into the September attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines.
Russia gave the 15-member council a draft resolution on Friday which would ask UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish an international investigation into the “sabotage” and identify who was to blame.
The US and NATO had called the September incident an act of sabotage. Moscow has blamed the West but neither side has provided evidence.
However American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said last month that US Navy divers had destroyed the pipelines with explosives. He said that President Joe Biden personally issued the orders.