- Russia says British Navy personnel blew up pipeline
- Russia says British naval personnel helped attack Crimea
- Russia shows no proof of claims
- Britain denies Russia’s allegations
LONDON (Reuters) – The Royal Navy blew up the Nord Stream gas pipeline last month, the Russian defense ministry said on Monday.
Russia has provided no evidence for allegations that key NATO members sabotaged critical Russian infrastructure in the worst crisis in Western relations with Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said “British experts” from the same unit directed a Ukrainian drone attack on a Russian Black Sea Fleet ship in Crimea early on Saturday, which was largely repulsed by Russian forces. He said the minesweeper suffered minor damage.
“According to available information, representatives of this unit of the Royal Navy took part in the planning, preparation and execution of a terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea on September 26 this year – the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. ,” the ministry said.
Britain denied the allegations.
“The Russian Ministry of Defense seeks to spread false allegations on a grand scale to undermine its disastrous response to its illegal invasion of Ukraine,” it said.
“This hoax says more about the debate going on inside the Russian government than about the West.”
Russia has previously accused the West of the explosions that ruptured the Russian-built Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea bed.
But it did not give specific details about who it believed was responsible for the damage to the pipeline, which was formerly the largest route for Russia’s gas supply to Europe.
A sharp drop in pressure in both pipelines was recorded on September 26, and seismologists detected an explosion, sparking a wave of speculation about sabotage of one of Russia’s most important energy corridors. rice field.
Reuters was unable to immediately confirm the conflicting claims as to who was responsible for the damages.
Mystery of the pipeline
Both Sweden and Denmark have concluded that the four leaks in Nord Stream 1 and 2 were caused by explosions, but have not specified who is responsible. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called the damage sabotage.
Sweden has ordered an additional investigation into the damage done to the pipeline, the prosecutor in charge of the case said in a statement on Friday.
The Kremlin has repeatedly said claims of Russia’s responsibility for the damage are “absurd” and Russian officials say Washington has an incentive to sell more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe. Says.
The US denies involvement.
The combined annual capacity of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines is 110 billion cubic meters, more than half of Russia’s normal gas exports.
The 1,224 km (760 mile) long section of the pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany lies at a depth of about 80 to 110 meters.
Russia, meanwhile, said Ukrainian forces had attacked a Black Sea Fleet ship in Sevastopol, the largest city in Crimea annexed by Russia, in the early hours of Saturday.
“Nine unmanned aerial vehicles and seven autonomous maritime drones were involved in the attack,” the Department of Defense said.
“The preparation of this terrorist act and the training of military personnel from the 73rd Naval Operations Special Center in Ukraine were carried out under the guidance of British experts in the town of Ochakiv.”
The ministry said all aerial drones were destroyed, although minesweeper Ivan Golbets suffered minor damage. Sevastopol is the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
Reporting by Reuters Editing by Guy Falconbridge and Francis Kelly
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.