Conflicts & War

Germany urges prudence over reports pro-Ukraine group blew up Nord Stream

Berlin, Mar 8 (EFE).- The German government on Wednesday warned against jumping to conclusions after new media reports suggested a pro-Ukrainian group may have carried out an act of sabotage against the Nord Stream gas pipeline last year.

“I’m following this information with great interest,” Boris Pistorius, Germany’s defense minister, told the local Deutschlandfunk radio station. “But we have to wait to see what is confirmed.”

His call for caution came after The New York Times said fresh intelligence examined by United States officials suggested that pro-Ukrainian actors may have been behind the explosions and subsequent gas leaks at a section of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in waters near Sweden and Denmark.

Citing anonymous US officials, the newspaper said new intelligence suggested the alleged sabotage group was likely made up of Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or a combination of both, and that there was no evidence to suggest Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy or his top brass had signed off on the mission.

The blasts in September last year rendered both strands of the Nord Stream 1 line and one strand of the Nord Stream 2 inoperable.

Russia had already turned off the Nord Stream 1 line in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, citing maintenance work at a time when Europe was weaning itself off Moscow’s supply.

Germany’s government halted the certification of Nord Stream 2 after Russia recognized the independence of breakaway Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, a prelude to Vladimir Putin’s war, meaning it never came into use.

The Nord Steam line, majority owned by Russia’s Gazprom, connects Russia with Germany.

Following the NYT report, German media outlets reconstructed a timeline of how the alleged sabotage was carried out, which began with a team renting a boat from a company in Poland owned by two Ukrainians.

Broadcaster ARD said the team comprised six people – a captain, two divers, two diving assistants and a doctor, all of whom carried false passports.

The blasts at the Nord Stream pipeline are widely believed to have been an act of sabotage although the authors remain unknown.

Russia has blamed the explosions on the West, and has asked the United Nations Security Council to investigate the matter.

Ukraine’s presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak on Tuesday said Ukraine had no involvement in the alleged sabotage. EFE


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