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

  • Russia says British naval personnel blew up the pipelines
  • Russia says British naval personnel helped invade Crimea
  • Russia does not provide evidence for the claim
  • England rejects Russia’s claims
  • Russia says it will draw the attention of the United Nations

LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that British naval personnel blew up the Nord Stream gas pipeline last month, a claim that London said was false and meant to divert attention from Russia’s military failures in Ukraine. designed.

Russia, a key NATO member, did not provide evidence for its claim that it sabotaged critical infrastructure amid the worst crisis in relations between the West and Russia since the Cold War.

“British specialists” from the same unit directed Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian Black Sea Fleet ships in Crimea early Saturday, which the ministry said were largely repelled by Russian forces and caused minor damage to a Russian minesweeper. became.

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

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Britain rejected the claim.

“Russia’s Ministry of Defense is resorting to false pretense on an epic scale to minimize their disastrous behavior regarding the illegal invasion of Ukraine,” the British MoD said.

This invented story says more about the debates going on inside the Russian government than it does about the West.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that Moscow will look for the reaction of the UN Security Council, and on social networks, Moscow wants to draw attention to a series of terrorist attacks that have been carried out against the Russian Federation in the Black and Baltic Seas. attract British involvement in them.

Russia, heavily isolated by the West since its February 24 invasion of Ukraine, has previously blamed the West for explosions that tore apart the Russian-made Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines on the Baltic Seabed.

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However, it did not provide specific details about who is responsible for the damage to these pipelines.

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

Reuters could not immediately confirm any of the conflicting claims about who was to blame for the damage.

A gas leak in the Nord Stream 2 of a Danish F-16 interceptor in Bornholm, Denmark, September 27, 2022. Danish Defense Command/Forsvaret Ritzau Scanpix/via Reuters

The mystery of the pipeline

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

Sweden has ordered further 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 Russia’s claims for the damage are “ridiculous,” and Russian officials have said Washington has an incentive because it wants to sell more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe.

The United States has denied involvement.

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The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines have a combined annual capacity of 110 billion cubic meters, which is more than half of Russia’s natural gas exports.

Sections of the 1,224-kilometer (760-mile) pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany lie between 80 and 110 meters deep.

Black Sea Fleet

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

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

The preparation of this terrorist act and the training of the soldiers of the 73rd Special Naval Operations Center of Ukraine were carried out under the guidance of British experts based in the city of Uchakov.

According to the ministry, all the aerial drones were destroyed, but the minesweeper Ivan Globets was slightly damaged. Sevastopol is the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Reporting by Reuters Editing by Guy Falconbridge and Frances Carey

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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