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30 Sep, 2022 08:35

Russian security chief names ‘obvious’ beneficiary of pipeline rupture

The US stands to win most from disabling the Russian-German gas link and has a record of such attacks, Nikolay Patrushev said
Russian security chief names ‘obvious’ beneficiary of pipeline rupture

The US stands to benefit economically from the attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines and has a record of targeting energy infrastructure with sabotage operations, the head of Russia's Security Council said.

“Pretty much from the first minutes after the news of the explosions broke … the West launched an active campaign for assigning blame. But it is obvious that the primary beneficiary, first of all in the economic sense, was the US,” Nikolay Patrushev said on Friday.

He compared this week’s incident with the attack on Nicaragua’s oil infrastructure in Puerto Sandino in 1983. Back then CIA officers, based on a ship moored in international waters, coordinated a raid by commandos they had trained to fight against the Sandinista government, US press reported at the time. The US spy agency also provided speed boats for the raid, according to a CIA source cited by Associated Press.

The operation was part of the Reagan administration’s “dirty war” on Nicaragua, which later led to the Iran-Contras scandal. The CIA’s secret sale of weapons to Iran to fund Latin American militants was exposed in 1986.

Patrushev made the remarks at a meeting with fellow security officials from former Soviet nations.

“It appears to be necessary to coordinate our effort to expose the masterminds and executors of this crime, setting a good example for effective cooperation,” he told his counterparts.

He noted that Washington's goal was “ensuring strategic and economic superiority over alternative centers of power” even though the EU, a US ally, has been suffering from its policies. The US is replacing Russian natural gas with its more expensive liquified natural gas, as the bloc moves to decouple its economy from Russian energy sources.

The leaks in the two Nord Stream pipelines were first detected on Monday, when pressure in the undersea links connecting Russia directly to Germany drastically dropped. The pipelines were apparently breached with explosives, with the blasts detected by earthquake sensors in Sweden.

Moscow called the incident an international terrorist attack against civilian infrastructure, while some Western officials described it as an act of sabotage.

Some critics of Russia speculated that Moscow decided to blow up its own gas links with Germany to put pressure on the EU.

Polish MEP and former Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski thanked the US for the incident, but later deleted the tweet, calling his implied assertion of Washington’s involvement a personal working theory.