Moscow does not expect new insight from Washington on blasts that crippled key gas pipelines, senior diplomat says
Washington has not responded to Moscow’s demands for an explanation of what happened to the Nord Stream pipelines after veteran journalist Seymour Hersh published a bombshell report accusing the United States of destroying the key gas route, senior Russian diplomat Konstantin Gavrilov has said.
“We have not received any clarification yet and it is unlikely that we ever will,” he told Izvestia newspaper on Monday. “There will be nothing new [from the US]” added the official, who is leading Russia’s delegation at the Vienna talks on military security and arms control.
Gavrilov said he was surprised by the behavior of the EU countries most affected by the sabotage of crucial energy infrastructure, which was built to deliver Russian gas to Europe through Germany.
Germany, Sweden and Denmark, which have carried out probes into the explosions on Nord Stream 1 and 2 last autumn, have so far been reluctant to share their findings. They also rejected offers from Russia to help with the investigations.
“Europe’s stance, which is openly humiliated, is something that I cannot fully understand,” Gavrilov said.
In early February, Hersh wrote a report claiming that US President Joe Biden had given the order to destroy Nord Stream. According to an informed source who spoke to the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, the explosives detonated last September had been planted at the pipelines in the Baltic Sea as early as June 2022 by US Navy divers under the guise of a NATO exercise.
Hersh later suggested that Biden had chosen that particular moment to blow up the infrastructure because the Russia-Ukraine conflict was “not going well” for Kiev and its backers in Washington.
US National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson denied the report, calling it “completely false and complete fiction”.
In late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he “completely agreed” with Hersh’s findings that the Nord Stream sabotage had been organized by US special forces.
Other Russian officials have also noted that the only party that benefited from the destruction of Nord Stream was the United States, which has seen shipments of its more expensive liquefied natural gas to Europe increase enormously since the blasts.