Germany says Nord Stream attacks could be ‘false flag’ to discredit Ukraine

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on Wednesday warned against jumping to premature conclusions on who was responsible for blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines, suggesting that the attack was also a “false flag” operation to blame Ukraine. It is possible

Pistorius was speaking after a New York Times report, citing intelligence reviewed by US officials, suggested that pro-Ukraine groups may be behind the explosions that rocked the West and Russia following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. became a flashpoint between the Russians.

The report, not pointing to any official Ukrainian involvement, comes at a time when Kiev is urging its Western allies to supply high-end weapons to repel Russian forces as the war enters its second year. be accelerated.

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The cause of the rupture of the Nord Stream pipeline supplying Russian energy to Europe and the natural gas bubble that spewed into the Baltic Sea last September is under investigation. Western countries believe the blasts were deliberate but have not concluded who was behind them.

Russia, which has previously blamed the West, on Wednesday demanded a transparent investigation in which it also wants to participate.

A separate report by Germany’s ARD broadcaster and Zeit newspaper said on Tuesday that German authorities had been able to identify the boat used for the sabotage operation. It said a group of five men and a woman chartered a yacht from a Poland-based company owned by Ukrainian nationals using forged passports, but the perpetrators’ nationalities were unclear.

“We have to make a clear distinction between whether this was a Ukrainian group, whether it happened on Ukrainian orders, or a pro-Ukrainian group (acting) without the knowledge of the government. But I caution against jumping to conclusions, Pistorius said on the sidelines of a summit in Stockholm.

Pistorius previously said the likelihood was “equally high” that it could have been a “false flag campaign to blame Ukraine”.

Citing Germany’s federal prosecutor, broadcaster NTV said German investigators raided a ship in January suspected of involvement but had no reliable information on the perpetrators or motives.

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