Saboteurs targeting pipeline to Türkiye captured – Kremlin
Saboteurs have been detained while plotting to blow up part of the TurkStream pipeline, which delivers Russian natural gas to Türkiye, the Kremlin's spokesman claimed on Thursday.
“Certain forces … have already made an attempt on TurkStream. The saboteurs have been caught, and several people have been arrested. They wanted to blow it up. On our territory, on soil,” Dmitry Peskov said.
Peskov’s remarks follow Moscow’s proposal to turn Türkiye into a hub for Russian gas, re-exporting it to European consumers. He was speaking on the sidelines of an international summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The EU was now deprived of the means to receive Russian gas, even if it were to request it, after September's “terrorist attacks” that damaged three out of four strings of the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea, he explained.
The Kremlin spokesman stressed that the pipeline to Türkiye was the only “fully functional, fully loaded and working as clockwork route” for Russian gas to EU countries. Ankara could develop its gas infrastructure further to increase its re-export capacity, he suggested, claiming that the Turkish leadership was interested in the proposal.
President Vladimir Putin “hinted about the origins of certain forces” that were behind an attack on TurkStream, Peskov added, without providing details on which incident he was referring to.
On Wednesday, the Russian president appeared to accuse Washington of having a hand in the sabotage of Nord Stream, saying the beneficiary was the party that “can now force liquefied natural gas from the US on to European countries on a much larger scale.” In the same speech, he voiced the idea of a Turkish gas hub.
On Monday, Putin accused Kiev of launching a number of sabotage plots targeting Russian energy infrastructure, including the TurkStream pipeline.
In mid-September, Russia’s FSB security agency reported capturing a Ukrainian agent and several accomplices, who allegedly plotted to plant a bomb at a facility through which Russian natural gas is exported to Türkiye. Multiple arrests were made.