Russia speaks out on Nord Stream blasts probe
Russia is “concerned” about suggestions that it could somehow be excluded from any investigation into the ruptures of the Nord Stream pipelines, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.
“So far, from those press conferences that took place in Denmark and Sweden, we have heard quite concerning statements that any cooperation with the Russian side is excluded,” he told reporters.
“We, of course, will wait for some clarifications on this matter; we believe that the participation of the Russian side in the examination of the damaged parts [of the pipelines] and in the probe into what happened, must be mandatory,” the spokesman added.
Peskov’s remarks appear to have come in response to statements by Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, who has announced his government’s intention to oppose Russia’s participation in the investigation and the possible identification of those responsible. Moscow maintains an international probe – with its participation – must be carried out.
The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines abruptly lost pressure last Monday, following a series of powerful underwater explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm. The incident caused massive gas leaks, with large volumes of it entering the sea. The ruptures are widely considered to be the result of sabotage, carried out by an unknown party.
Moscow has squarely branded the incident a terrorist attack, while President Vladimir Putin blamed the explosions on “the Anglo-Saxons,” a Russian colloquialism for the US-UK transatlantic alliance. Washington, for its part, has openly cheered the incident, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken hailing it as a “tremendous opportunity” for Europe “to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy.”