HomeNewsUkraine denies involvement in Nord Stream sabotage following new reports

    Ukraine denies involvement in Nord Stream sabotage following new reports

    This file photo taken on September 27, 2022, shows the gas leak at the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as it is seen from the Danish Defense's F-16 rejection response off the Danish Baltic island of Bornholm, south of Dueodde.

    The Ukrainian government denied being involved in the sabotage last year of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea. “This is not our activity,” Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told reporters in Stockholm on Wednesday, March 8, ahead of a meeting with EU defense ministers in response to a report in The New York Times that said US officials had seen new intelligence indicating a “pro-Ukrainian group” was responsible for the sabotage.

    Tea Times report said US officials had no evidence implicating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the pipeline bombing, and it did not identify the source of the intelligence or the group involved.

    The intelligence suggests that the perpetrators behind the sabotage were “opponents of President Vladimir Putin of Russia”, the Times report said.

    The pipelines were ruptured by subsea explosives on September 26, seven months after Russian forces invaded Ukraine. The attack benefitted Ukraine by severely damaging Russia’s ability to reap millions of dollars by selling natural gas to Western Europe.

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    It also stoked the surge in energy prices weighing on key Ukrainian allies, particularly Germany.

    ‘Nothing to do with Baltic Sea mishap’

    On Tuesday, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted that “Ukraine has nothing to do with the Baltic Sea mishap and has no information about ‘pro-Ukraine sabotage groups’.”

    The pipelines were ruptured by subsea explosives in late September, seven months after Russian forces invaded Ukraine. Authorities in Germany, Sweden and Denmark have opened inquiries into the incident.

    According to separate German media reports, German investigators believe the unidentified group was made up of five men and one woman using professionally falsified passports, and who rented a boat that set sail from the northern German port of Rostock.

    German investigators probing the Nord Stream gas pipeline blasts searched a ship suspected of having transported explosives used in the incident, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday. The searches took place from January 18 to 20 over the “suspicion that the ship in question could have been used to transport explosive devices that exploded on 26 September 2022 at the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea”, they said.



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    Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the perpetrators and their motive, they added. No firm conclusions can be drawn yet, in particular on whether the incident had been ordered by a state, they said. Investigators are currently still evaluating objects seized from the ship. But prosecutors underlined that the employees of the German company that leased out the ship did not count among suspects.

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    Russia rejects reports

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    Russia rejected the Times reports on Wednesday. “It’s clear the people who orchestrated the attack want to create a diversion. This is clearly a well-coordinated media campaign,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments carried by state-run agency RIA Novosti. “This whole story isn’t just weird. It reeks of a monstrous crime,” Peskov added.

    Russia said it is being sidelined from probes being carried out by Swedish, Danish and German authorities, which have not pinned the blame on any one country or actor. “We are still not allowed to participate in the investigation,” Peskov said. “We received notices to that effect from the Danes and the Swedes only a few days ago.”

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