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27 Sep, 2023 09:29

Poland rubbishes German media Nord Stream attack claims

Warsaw has said that no traces of explosives have been found on a vessel allegedly rented by a Ukrainian-owned company
Poland rubbishes German media Nord Stream attack claims

A senior Polish official has dismissed multiple German media reports that a Ukrainian special forces team blew up the Nord Stream pipelines by renting a yacht and sailing across the Baltic Sea. Stanislaw Zaryn, the secretary of state at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland, described the alleged team of military divers as 'tourists.'

He was speaking to public broadcaster ARD TV, which, along with Die Zeit, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and several other outlets, investigated the explosion that damaged the two gas pipelines connecting Russia and Germany last September.

The investigation focused on a yacht name Andromeda, allegedly rented by a team of saboteurs several weeks before the blasts. Several of the team are alleged to be Ukrainian, while the charter fee was paid by a company reportedly owned by a Ukrainian businessman. 

Zaryn said, as quoted by Die Zeit, that Warsaw has “no doubts that there was no explosive material on this boat.”

The official stressed that the Polish authorities believe the trip had a “purely touristic character.” “There was nobody in the group who had anything close to military or sabotage-related training.”

However, according to the journalists, in January 2023, an investigative team found traces of HMX on the boat – the same explosive found at the attack sites.

The reporters also claimed that the first rumors of the planned sabotage were picked up by a Dutch intelligence officer who informed his superiors that a commando unit of six people acting under the guise of scuba divers was set to blow up the pipeline.

The officer’s source allegedly claimed that while Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky knew nothing of the upcoming attack, the unit was reporting to Valery Zaluzhny, the commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Information about the attack is said to have been shared with the CIA. It was said to be planned for June 19, but it did not happen on this date.

While the investigation by the media conglomerate indicates a Ukrainian role in the sabotage, American journalist Seymour Hersh has blamed the attack on the US, which he said wanted to force Germany to take a hard stance on Russia amid the Ukraine conflict. Moscow officials have also repeatedly blamed the West for the explosion.