Russia says UK navy blew up Nord Stream, London denies involvement

Date:

  • Russia says British naval personnel blew up pipelines
  • Russia says British naval personnel helped attack Crimea
  • Russia provides no evidence for claim
  • Britain denies Russian claims

LONDON, Oct. 29 (Reuters) – The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that British naval personnel blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month, a claim London believes was false and intended to distract from Russian military failures in Ukraine.

Russia has provided no evidence to support its claim that a leading NATO member sabotaged critical Russian infrastructure during the worst crisis in Western-Russia relations since the depths of the Cold War.

The Russian ministry said “British specialists” from the same unit earlier on Saturday targeted Ukrainian drone strikes against ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, which were said to have been largely repelled by Russian forces, with minor damage to one Russian minesweeper.

“According to the information available, representatives of this unit of the British Navy took part in the planning, execution and execution of a terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea on September 26 this year – blowing up the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines,” the ministry said.

Britain denied the claim.

“To detract from their disastrous approach to the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry is resorting to false claims of epic proportions,” it said.

“This made-up story says more about quarrels within the Russian government than it does about the West.”

Russia has previously blamed the West for the explosions that ruptured the Russian-built Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

But it had not previously given specific details about who it believes is responsible for the damage to the pipelines, previously the largest routes for Russian gas supplies to Europe.

On September 26, a sharp drop in pressure was recorded on both pipelines and seismologists detected explosions, sparking a wave of speculation about sabotage of one of Russia’s major energy corridors.

Reuters has not been able to immediately verify the conflicting claims about blame for the damage.

PIPELINE MYSTERY

Sweden and Denmark have both concluded that four leaks on Nord Stream 1 and 2 were caused by explosions, but have not said who could be responsible. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called the damage an act of sabotage.

Sweden has ordered additional investigations into the damage to the pipelines, the prosecutor in charge of the case said in a statement on Friday.

The Kremlin has repeatedly said allegations of Russian responsibility for the damage were “stupid” and Russian officials have said Washington had motive because it wants to sell more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe.

The United States has denied any involvement.

The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines have a combined annual capacity of 110 billion cubic meters – more than half of Russia’s normal gas export volumes.

Parts of the 1,224 km long pipelines, which run from Russia to Germany, lie at a depth of about 80-110 meters.

Russia, meanwhile, said Ukrainian forces attacked Black Sea fleet ships in Sevastopol, the largest city in Russia-annexed Crimea, in the early hours of Saturday.

“Nine unmanned aerial vehicles and seven autonomous marine drones were involved in the attack,” the Defense Ministry said.

“The preparation of this terrorist act and the training of military personnel from the Ukrainian 73rd Special Center for Naval Operations was carried out under the direction of British specialists in the city of Ochakiv.”

All aerial drones were destroyed, although minor damage was done to minesweeper Ivan Golubets, the ministry said. Sevastopol is the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Reporting by Reuters Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Frances Kerry

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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