Moscow classifies the Nord Stream pipeline blasts as acts of international terrorism, as Denmark and Sweden bar Russia from probing the incidents. The Russian Foreign Ministry underscores that the investigation can be considered reliable and objective only if Moscow participates in it.
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has stated that UK Royal Navy officials took part in the planning and implementation of a terrorist attack on the Nord Stream gas pipeline network in the Baltic Sea on September 26.
“According to the obtained data, the UK Navy representatives took part in planning, organizing and carrying out the terrorist act in the Baltic Sea on September 26, 2022 to blow up the Nord Stream-1 and Nord Stream-2 gas pipelines,” the MoD said in a statement on Saturday.
In late September, the suspected explosions occurred at three of the four strings of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 underwater pipelines, built to carry a combined annual 110 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea.
The bombing halted gas deliveries to Germany ahead of the cold season, prompting a gas price hike and a scramble for alternative sources of fuel in the European Union.
The Swedish and Danish authorities suspect that the incident was the result of sabotage, with both countries barring Russia from investigating the attack.
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office classified the pipeline blasts as acts of international terrorism. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, the investigation of terrorist attacks can only be considered reliable and objective if Moscow takes part in the probe.
The operator company Nord Stream AG later said that the damage to the pipeline system is unprecedented, while Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that it was a deliberate assault on Europe’s energy infrastructure, hinting that the US and Britain could be responsible for the blasts.
A joint venture by the Russian energy giant Gazprom and four Western European energy companies, Nord Stream 2, is a 1,230 km twin gas pipeline along the bottom of the Baltic Sea which complements the existing Nord Stream 1 network.
Construction on Nord Stream 2 was completed in September 2021 but Germany delayed its operational certification and halted the process indefinitely in February, shortly before Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine.