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

  • Russia says British naval personnel blew up the pipes
  • Russia claims that British naval forces helped in the invasion of Crimea
  • Russia does not provide evidence of the claim
  • Britain denies Russia’s claims
  • Russia will draw the attention of the United Nations

LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that British naval forces blew up the Nord Stream gas pipeline last month, which London said was false and aimed at focusing on Russian military failures in Ukraine.

Amid the worst crisis in relations between Russia and Russia since the Cold War, Russia has not provided any evidence that its leading NATO member destroyed critical Russian infrastructure.

The Russian military repelled a Ukrainian drone attack on Russian Black Sea Fleet ships in Crimea early Saturday that caused minor damage to a Russian minesweeper led by “British experts,” the Russian ministry said.

“According to the available information, representatives of this unit of the British Navy participated in the planning, provision 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,” he said. said the ministry.

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Britain denied the allegations.

“Russia’s Ministry of Defense has engaged in massive misrepresentation in order to avoid catastrophic actions related to its illegal occupation of Ukraine,” the British Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

“This fictional story is more about the conflict within the Russian government than about the West.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on social media that the United Nations Security Council would respond, saying Moscow “wishes to draw attention to the series of terrorist attacks against the Russian Federation in the Black and Baltic Seas.” British participation in them”.

Deeply isolated from the West since its February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russia has previously blamed the West for explosions at the Russian-built Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines under the Baltic Sea.

However, it was not immediately clear who was responsible for the damage to the pipeline, which is the main route for Russian natural gas to Europe.

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

Reuters could not immediately verify conflicting claims about who was responsible for the damage.

A gas leak in Nord Stream 2 as seen from a Danish F-16 interceptor in Bornholm, Denmark on September 27, 2022. Danish Defense Command/Forsvaret Ritzau via Scanpix/REUTERS

The Secret of the Pipeline

Sweden and Denmark concluded that explosions were the cause of the four water leaks in Nord Stream 1 and 2, but did not say who might be responsible. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called the damage an act of sabotage.

Sweden has ordered a further investigation into the damage to the pipeline, the prosecutor in charge of the case said in a statement on Friday.

The Kremlin has repeatedly said it would be foolish to hold Russia responsible for the damage, and Russian officials say Washington is aiming to sell more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe.

The United States, however, has denied involvement in the case.

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The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines have a capacity of 110 billion cubic meters per year, accounting for more than half of Russia’s conventional gas exports.

The 1,224 km (760 mi) section of the pipeline from Russia to Germany lies at a depth of approximately 80 to 110 meters.

Black Sea Fleet

Ukrainian forces attacked a Black Sea Fleet ship in Sevastopol, the largest city in Russia-annexed Crimea, early Saturday, Russia said.

“The attack involved nine unmanned aerial vehicles and seven autonomous maritime drones,” the Defense Ministry said.

“The preparation of this terrorist operation and the training of military personnel of the 73rd Special Operations Center of the Ukrainian Navy were carried out under the leadership of British experts located in Ochakiv.”

The minesweeper Ivan Golubets suffered minor damage, but all the drones were destroyed, the ministry said. Sevastopol is the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Reuters Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Frances Kerry

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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