Nord Stream explosions: US officials say intelligence indicates pro-Ukrainian group sabotaged pipelines | World News
New intelligence reviewed by US officials indicates that a pro-Ukraine group was behind the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines in September, according to a report.
There was no evidence that Ukraine’s president or any other Kyiv official was behind the attacks which spewed natural gas into the Baltic Sea, and there are no firm conclusions, the New York Times reports.
But the paper cited US officials saying the culprits were most likely Russian or Ukrainian nationals opposed to Vladimir Putin’s regime.
Months of speculation about who was responsible followed the explosions affecting the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which carry Russian gas to Germany.
The US intelligence review suggested those who carried out the attacks oppose Russian president Putin “but does not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation,” according to the New York Times.
“Officials who have reviewed the intelligence said they believed the saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two. US officials said no American or British nationals were involved,” the paper’s report said.
Ukrainian officials have denied Kyiv had any involvement in the blasts.
Russia has repeatedly denied being involved and blamed the West, while the US and NATO called the pipeline attacks “an act of sabotage”.
Investigators from Sweden and Denmark – in whose exclusive economic zones the explosions occurred – have said the ruptures were a result of sabotage, but have not said who they believe was responsible.
Last month they said their investigations have not yet concluded.
On Tuesday, the US and Britain said they were waiting on those findings, with White House spokesperson John Kirby adding “only then should we be looking at what follow-on actions might or may not be appropriate”.
Germany said on Tuesday it had taken note of the New York Times report but that its own investigation had not yet produced results.
A senior aide to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Mykhailo Podolyak, said that Kyiv was “absolutely not involved” in the blasts and has no information about what happened.
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Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, each consisting of two pipes, were built by Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
But due to frictions between Russia and the European Union over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Nord Stream was not operating when the explosions destroyed three of the four pipelines.
Three of the four pipes were ruptured by unexplained blasts in September, and one of the Nord Stream 2 pipes remains