- Russia is pressuring the US to prove it didn’t destroy the key Nord Stream gas pipelines last September.
- That comes after a discredited journalist claimed the US and Norway teamed up to blow up the pipelines under the Baltic Sea.
- Russia said it considers the incident “an act of international terrorism” which could bring “consequences” for the US.
Russia is demanding the US prove it didn’t destroy the key Nord Stream pipelines to Europe, according to state media.
“We qualify the incident as an act of international terrorism that requires a comprehensive and independent investigation,” a spokesperson for the Russian embassy to the US said in a statement on Wednesday.
Last September, explosions ruptured the Nord Stream pipelines and set the Baltic sea boiling with leaking methane gas. It disrupted the supply of Russian gas to the continent and exacerbated a crippling energy crisis, given Moscow typically supplied about 40% of Europe’s natural gas.
News of the blown-up pipelines sent European natural gas prices surging 11% to above 200 euros ($191.56) at the time, as worries about the risks to energy supplies to Europe grew.
Following the explosion, US and European officials were quick to blame Russia. Sweden concluded the damage to the pipelines was “gross sabotage” at the time.
But those accusations have come under pressure after a discredited journalist Seymour Hersh made unproven claims in a self-published article that the US partnered with Norway in a top-secret operation to blow up the pipelines. The White House called Hersh’s story “false and complete fiction.”
Meanwhile, Russia has welcomed Hersh’s claims, saying it would bring “consequences” for the US.
“It wouldn’t hurt if the US, which claims the monopoly on the truth, shifted from empty accusations directed at us to the matter at hand and at least try to prove it wasn’t involved in the destruction of the gas pipelines,” the spokesperson said.
“The Russian side won’t allow the situation with the explosions at the critical energy infrastructure to be downplayed, especially given that there’s no information about several undetonated explosives that have apparently remained on the sea bed,” he added.