Pro-Ukrainian group sabotaged Nord Stream, US intel suggests: report

The New York Times reported Tuesday that new intelligence reviewed by US officials suggests a pro-Ukrainian group of possible Ukrainian or Russian nationals may have attacked the Nord Stream pipelines last year, but the intelligence has not reached a firm conclusion. Arrived.

There was no evidence that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or his top lieutenants were involved, or that the perpetrators were acting on instructions from any Ukrainian government officials, the newspaper reported, citing US officials.

Reuters could not independently verify the report, and US officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Representatives of Kiev and Moscow also could not be reached immediately.

The United States and NATO have called the September 2022 attacks on gas-spewing pipelines in the Baltic Sea “an act of sabotage”, while Moscow blamed the West. Neither side has given evidence.

Built by Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom, the Nord Stream gas pipeline links Russia and Germany. They have become a flashpoint during Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Representatives for Gazprom also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Times wrote, the intelligence review suggests those who carried out the attacks opposed Russian President Vladimir Putin “but did not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation.”

“US officials declined to disclose the nature of the intelligence, any details of how it was obtained or the strength of the evidence it contained. They have said there are no firm conclusions about it,” it quoted unnamed officials as saying. Citing said.

According to the Times report, “Officials reviewing the intelligence said they believed the saboteurs were either Ukrainian or Russian citizens, or some combination of the two. US officials said no American or British citizens were involved.” were not.”

European countries where the pipeline was traveling are investigating, and the US State Department has said it is not in favor of the investigation and is deferring to those nations.

Russia last month asked the UN Security Council to conduct an independent investigation. In the year following the invasion, Europe has drastically cut its energy imports from Russia. Moscow this week called on all Nord Stream stakeholders to decide their fate after three of the four pipelines were destroyed in the attacks.

German energy company EON, one of the shareholders of the Nord Stream pipeline, declined to comment.

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