Nord Stream incident a ‘terrorist act’ – Kremlin
The damage inflicted on the Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines points to a probable ‘terrorist act,’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
He told journalists it is currently difficult to say with absolute certainty what happened to the pipelines, but “the scale of destruction indicates that it really was a sort of a [terrorist] act.”
“It’s very hard to imagine that such a terrorist act could have happened without the involvement of some state power,” he said.
The spokesman was also asked to comment on a report by CNN, which cited unnamed Western intelligence officials claiming Russian warships were spotted not far from the offshore gas leaks on Monday and Tuesday.
“This area is the Baltic Sea. Plenty more flying, floating and other seaborne vehicles belonging to NATO countries were observed there,” Peskov insisted, describing the report as “stupid” and “agenda-driven.”
Leaks from the gas pipelines, connecting Russia to Germany, were discovered by Denmark on Tuesday after the Nord Stream operator reported a loss of pressure. Danish and Swedish authorities later said a series of undersea explosions had been detected near Bornholm island in the Baltic Sea.
This led Russia, the US, the EU and Sweden to suggest that the leaks might have been the result of a deliberate act. No accusations have been voiced at the highest level, but some European and Ukrainian officials have hurried to point the finger at Russia, saying the alleged sabotage of the pipelines could have been a ‘false flag’ operation by Moscow in an attempt to smear Kiev and further drive energy prices up in the EU.
Peskov responded to those claims on Wednesday, calling them “absurd” and pointing out that the leaks were “a big problem” for Russia too. He reiterated that the US has been recently making “super-duper profits” from supplying LNG to Europe and stands to gain from continuing with those deliveries.
Sweden said on Thursday that its coast guard had discovered another – fourth – breach in the Nord Stream pipelines.
According to Danish estimates, gas will continue leaking into the Baltic Sea until the end of the week.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Tagesspiegel, citing “government circles,” has reported that the damage suffered by the pipelines could be irreparable.