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

  • Russia says British navy personnel blew up pipeline
  • Russia says British navy personnel helped attack Crimea
  • Russia does not provide evidence of claims
  • Britain denies Russia’s claims
  • Russia says it will seek UN attention

LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – British navy personnel blew up the Nord Stream gas pipeline last month, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday, a claim London said was false and aimed at diverting concerns about Russia’s efforts in the country. Attention to Ukraine’s military defeat.

Russia has provided no evidence of its claims that key NATO members have damaged critical Russian infrastructure in the worst crisis in Western-Russian relations since the depths of the Cold War.

Earlier Saturday, “British experts” from the same force directed Ukrainian drones to attack ships of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, which it said were largely repelled by Russian forces, Russia’s foreign ministry said. , the Russian minesweeper suffered minor damage.

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

Britain denies the claim.

The British Ministry of Defence said: “In order to mitigate their disastrous handling of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defence is peddling false claims on a grand scale.”

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

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow would seek a response from the UN Security Council, saying Moscow wanted to draw attention to “a series of terrorist attacks against the Russian Federation in the Black and Baltic Seas, including The UK is involved”.

Russia has been deeply isolated from the West since February 1. 24 invaded Ukraine after previously blaming the West for the rupture of the Russian-built Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines on the Baltic Sea bed.

But it has not previously provided specifics on who it believes is responsible for the damage to the pipelines, which used to be Russia’s largest route for gas supplies to Europe.

In September, pressure in both pipelines dropped sharply. On January 26, seismologists discovered the explosion, sparking a wave of speculation about damaging one of Russia’s most important energy corridors.

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

Plumbing Mystery

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

Sweden has ordered an additional investigation into the damage caused by the pipeline, prosecutors in charge of the case said in a statement on Friday.

The Kremlin has repeatedly said allegations that Russia was responsible for the loss were “foolish,” and Russian officials said Washington was motivated by its desire to sell more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe.

The United States denies involvement.

The combined annual production capacity of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines is 110 billion cubic meters, more than half of Russia’s normal gas exports.

Parts of the 1,224-kilometer (760-mile) pipeline from Russia to Germany are approximately 80-110 meters deep.

Black Sea Fleet

Russia, meanwhile, said Ukrainian forces attacked ships of the Black Sea Fleet early Saturday in Sevastopol, the largest city in Russia’s annexed Crimea.

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

“The preparations for this terrorist operation and the training of the soldiers of the Ukrainian 73rd Special Naval Operations Center were carried out under the guidance of British experts based in the town of Ochakiv.”

Although the minesweeper Ivan Golubez suffered minor damage, all aerial drones were destroyed, the ministry said. Sevastopol is the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Edited by Reuters Guy Falconbridge and Francis Kerry

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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