MOSCOW, March 15 (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday dismissed allegations that Ukrainians may have been behind last year’s explosion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, insisting the United States was responsible.
Putin’s comments came after The New York Times, The Washington Post and German media published reports last week citing unnamed U.S. and other officials that there was evidence that Ukraine, or at least Ukrainians, may have been responsible. speak. The Ukrainian government has denied any involvement.
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Die Zeit and German public broadcasters ARD and SWR reported that investigators believe five men and a woman carried out the attack using a yacht chartered by a Ukrainian company in Poland. German federal prosecutors confirmed that a ship was searched in January, but have not confirmed the reported findings.
Putin dismissed the claim, calling it “pure nonsense”.
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“An explosion of such power and depth can only be carried out by experts backed by the full potential of a country with the relevant technology,” he said in a televised address.
The Russian leader insisted he was sure the United States was behind the explosion, saying the United States was interested in stopping the supply of cheap Russian gas to Germany and supplying Germany with more expensive liquefied natural gas.
The Kremlin last week described claims of Ukrainian involvement in the bombings as part of a Western cover-up.
An explosion in September hit the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, rendering them inoperable and causing a major leak of idle gas in the pipelines. No one has claimed responsibility for it.
U.S. officials initially said Russia was the likely culprit. Russia blamed the United States and Britain. Investigations by European countries, including Denmark and Germany, whose waters the pipeline passes through, have not been conclusive. (Associated Press)
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