Nord Stream explosion: UK denies Russian claims that Navy blew up gas pipelines
The MoD said: “To detract from their disastrous handling of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defence is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale.”
and live on Freeview channel 276
Both gas pipelines - which run transport gas from Russia to Europe via the Baltic Sea - stopped working due to leaks and an apparent explosion. At the time, the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that “it is the authorities’ clear assessment that these are deliberate actions”.
There was some speculation that leaks may have been caused by Russia, however now Moscow has accused the Royal Navy of blowing them up.
“According to available information, representatives of this unit of the British Navy took part in the planning, provision and implementation 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,” Reuters reported the Kremlin said.
It also said that the UK was behind Ukrainian drone attacks on the Russia navy near Sevestapol, in Crimea, earlier today. Russia provided no evidence from either of these claims, however said it was raise them with the UN Security Council.
The UK denied the allegations. “To detract from their disastrous handling of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defence is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale,” the Ministry of Defence said.
“This invented story, says more about arguments going on inside the Russian government than it does about the West.”
Why are the pipelines important?
A drop in Russian gas supplies has caused energy prices to soar, causing pain for many across Europe and creating fears about the coming winter and putting pressure on governments to help ease soaring bills.
While Nord Stream 2 has never been operational, Nord Stream 1 had delivered gas to Germany until September, when Russian energy giant Gazprom turned off the supply, alleging that urgent maintenance work was required to replace vital components.
Gazprom’s citing of technical problems have been rejected by German officials as a cover for a political power play following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Gazprom started cutting supplies through Nord Stream 1 in mid-June, blaming delays to the delivery of a turbine that had been sent to Canada for repair.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was already complete when German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suspended its certification on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, after Russia formally recognised two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.
Were the pipelines sabotaged?
Leaders of Poland and Denmark and experts have raised concerns that the leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipeline were sabotage.
Sweden’s national seismic network has said it detected two explosions close to the unusual gas pipeline leaks. Danish Prime Minister Frederiksen said that “it is the authorities’ clear assessment that these are deliberate actions – not accidents”. But she said “there is no information indicating who could be behind it”.
But Frederiksen rejected the suggestion that the incident was an attack on Denmark, saying the leaks occurred in international waters. The Danish Defence Ministry said it also believes “that the violations occurred as a result of a deliberate act”.
While the Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the explosions were an act of sabotage.