NATO once lost drones during Nord Stream Gazprom

NATO once lost drones during Nord Stream Gazprom

An unmanned submarine equipped with an explosive device ended up under the pipeline back in 2015, the Russian energy giant claims

The US-led NATO military bloc once managed to “drop” an armed underwater drone just below the Nord Stream pipeline, a Gazprom spokesman has claimed.

“On November 6, 2015, a NATO underwater mine destroyer ‘Seafox’ was spotted during a scheduled visual inspection of the Nord Stream gas pipeline,” Sergey Kupriyanov told Rossiya 24 on Monday.

The device was found resting on the seabed at a depth of 40 meters between the Nord Stream pipelines, almost directly under one of them, Kupriyanov said. The incidentwhich received limited media coverage at the time, led to a brief halt in gas deliveries, while the drone was ultimately recovered by the Swedish military.

At the time, the US-led bloc said it had “lost” the device during military exercises, the spokesman claimed. The German-made drone carries a 1.4 kg shaped charge warhead, which is intended to destroy sunken unexploded ordnance and mines, according to publicly available data.

“That’s NATO exercises for you, when a military-grade explosive device lands right under our pipeline,” Kupriyanov concluded.

The remarks come in the aftermath of the apparent sabotage attacks against the Nord Stream pipeline system. The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines both suddenly lost pressure on September 26, following a series of powerful underwater explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm. The cracks caused massive gas leaks into the open sea and rendered the pipelines unusable.

While Moscow has called for an international – with its own participation – investigation into the incident, other parties appear reluctant to carry out such an investigation. Sweden, for example, has already explicitly said that it will not share the results of its investigation into the explosion with Moscow.

“In Sweden, our preliminary investigations are confidential, and of course that also applies in this case,” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson told reporters on Monday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has already blamed the “Anglo-Saxons”, a Russian euphemism for the US-UK alliance, for the blasts, which Moscow described as an act of “international terrorism”. During a meeting of the Russian Security Council on Monday, Putin said that “we all know very well who is the ultimate beneficiary of this crime.”



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