Lavrov: US Officials Admit They Are Responsible for Nord Stream Explosions
- February, 12, 2023 - 16:22
- Other Media news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Officials in the United States admit that they were behind the explosions at the Nord Stream pipeline, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday.
"Now they even enjoy talking about it," the foreign minister said, adding that the US sabotaged the Russian pipeline in order to destroy a powerful alliance based on Russian energy resources and German technology that began to threaten the monopoly of many American corporations, Sputnik reported.
Lavrov's comments come on the heels of a bombshell revelation by Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Seymour Hersh, who wrote an investigative piece earlier this week into the gas pipeline explosions.
Based on information from sources, the journalist wrote that during the NATO Baltops exercise in the summer of 2022, US Navy divers planted explosives under the Nord Stream pipelines, which were detonated three months later at the order of US President Joe Biden. According to Hersh, Biden decided to sabotage Nord Stream after more than nine months of secret discussions with the national security team.
Hersh also cited a source with direct knowledge of the US operational planning as saying that Norway played a key role in helping the United States organize the attack and keep the Swedish and Danish navies in the dark. The Pentagon has denied responsibility for the blasts.
Sputnik has analyzed Flightradar24 data showing that US and German navy aircraft regularly circled over the sites of future explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines during the NATO Baltops 22 exercise last summer.
Between June 8 and June 16, 2022, German and US maritime surveillance aircraft P-3 Orion and P-8 Poseidon carried out regular flights over the sites of future Nord Stream blasts. The military aircraft descended to low altitudes and turned off transponders in almost every flight, so some of their trajectories remained unrecorded.
On June 8, the American Poseidon aircraft circled over the sites of three future explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines northeast of Bornholm Island. The German P-3 Orion aircraft then flew over a future blast site east of the island. On June 9, the Poseidon aircraft flew over the sites northeast and east of Bornholm.
From June 11 to June 15, the US Poseidon aircraft circled precisely over the sites of future Nord Stream sabotage acts every day, often making many turns and loops at low altitude. On June 16, the German P-3 Orion flew over the area. The minimum flight altitude of US and German military aircraft over the Baltic Sea around the location of the gas pipelines was less than 600 meters (0.4 miles). However, it could have been even lower in those parts of the flights that were not recorded by the open monitoring system.
Late last month, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland hailed the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, saying that "the (US) administration is very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2 is now, as you like to say, a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out that Nuland's words were "proof of the Biden administration’s approval of the terrorist attack that destroyed civilian infrastructure, as well as evidence of Washington’s motive for undermining global energy security."
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, for his part, described the pipeline explosions as a “tremendous opportunity,” which would enable EU nations to become less dependent on Russian energy.
The blasts occurred on September 26, 2022 at three of the four strings of Nord Stream 1 and 2 underwater pipelines built to carry a combined 110 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Europe annually.
The incidents halted gas deliveries to Germany ahead of the cold season, prompting a gas price hike and a scramble for alternative sources in the European Union. Germany, Denmark, and Sweden launched separate investigations into the sabotage, with German media reporting trust issues among the three EU nations. The Russian chief prosecutor's office said it had opened an inquiry into possible international terrorism.