Ukraine denies reported link to Nord Stream attack

Ukraine has denied any involvement in Septem­ber’s attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, which were built to carry Russian natural gas to Germany.

The denial follows a report from the New York Times, which cites anonymous US intelligence officials who suggest a pro-Ukrainian group was to blame.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advis­er to the Ukrainian president, said Ukraine “was absolutely not involved”.

Moscow questioned how the US could make assumptions without an investigation.

Kremlin spokesman, Dmi­try Peskov, called the report a “co-ordinated fake news media campaign” and told the state news agency, Ria-Novosti, those who attacked the pipeline “clearly… want to divert attention”.

Russia has blamed the West for the explosions and called on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to independently investi­gate them.

German investigators said on Wednesday they had searched a ship in January which was suspect­ed of transporting the explosives used to sabotage the two gas pipe­lines. There was at this stage no evidence to suggest a foreign state was involved, they said.

Russian gas deliveries had been suspended before the blasts. Russia shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipe­line in August last year, saying it needed maintenance. Nord Stream 2 had never been put into service.

The exact cause of the Septem­ber 26blasts that hit the natural gas pipelines is unknown, but it is widely believed they were attacked.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisa­tion (NATO) and Western leaders have stopped short of directly accusing Russia of attacking its own pipelines, although the EU has previously said Russia uses its gas pipelines as a weapon against the West. —BBC

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