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