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22 Nov, 2023 17:10

Nord Stream attack was ‘state terrorism’ – Putin

The sabotage operation was a “blatant” attempt to take Russia out as an energy supplier, the president has said
Nord Stream attack was ‘state terrorism’ – Putin

The bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipelines was an “act of state terrorism” aimed at eliminating a key energy competitor of the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a virtual summit of G20 leaders.

Nord Stream 1 and 2 each comprised two separate pipelines, linking Russia and Germany. Three out of the four lines were destroyed in a series of explosions near the Danish island of Bornholm last September, severing Germany’s energy ties to Russia and leaving its gas-dependent economy reliant on more expensive American liquefied natural gas.

“To eliminate competitors and gain advantages, unfair methods of competition are used,” Putin said. “Not only the destruction of transport and logistics chains and international payment channels, but also acts of state terrorism.”

“A blatant example of this is the explosion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline system, laid along the bottom of the Baltic Sea,” he added.

While Putin did not identify a culprit behind the bombing, he has previously said that he “fully agrees” with American journalist Seymour Hersh, who blamed the act of sabotage on the CIA. Citing sources within the intelligence community, Hersh alleged that the agency carried out the attack with the help of the Norwegian navy, under the direct orders of the White House.

The Russian president argued that the US benefited from the attack due to its position as a supplier of liquefied natural gas to Europe.

A competing theory popularized by multiple Western media outlets suggests that a team of Ukrainian commandos destroyed the pipelines, using a rented yacht to transport the explosives to the blast sites. Earlier this month, the Washington Post named Roman Chervinsky – a Ukrainian colonel close to the national security service (SBU) – and Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, as the masterminds of the attack. 

Chervinsky dismissed the allegations as “Russian propaganda,” despite the fact that they originated in an American newspaper citing European and Ukrainian officials.