Russia Foils Attack on Turkstream Pipeline, Saboteurs Arrested

Pipeline links Russia to Turkey and Southern Europe

Image Credits: Serbian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

The Interfax news agency cited a report from the Kremlin about a “foiled attack” on a major natural gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey called the TurkStream, according to Reuters.

The Kremlin said several people were arrested Thursday during an attempt to sabotage the pipeline that links Russia to Turkey and Southern Europe. The pipeline has a capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters per year and was launched in early 2020. 

“Certain forces … have already made an attempt on TurkStream. The saboteurs have been caught, and several people have been arrested. They wanted to blow it up. On our territory, on soil,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. 

Peskov’s comments come as Russia plans to transform Turkey into a central hub for Russian NatGas, then re-exporting it through Europe. The spokesman commented about the incident on the sidelines of an international summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. 

On Monday, President Vladimir Putin warned that Ukraine was attempting to attack a section of the TurkStream pipeline. This followed the bombing of a bridge linking Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula last weekend. Putin blamed Ukraine’s intelligence services for the attack. 

“It is obvious that the Ukrainian secret services ordered, organized and carried out the terrorist attack aimed at destroying Russia’s critical civilian infrastructure,” Putin said of the Kerch Bridge bombing.

Attacks on critical infrastructure in the European region have increased in recent weeks as it appears these could be spillovers from the war in Ukraine.

Following the sabotage of the Nord Stream, TurkStream remains the only conduit for Russian NatGas to Europe besides the pipelines that pass through Ukraine.

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