- An intelligence report blames pro-Ukraine forces to sabotage of the Nord Stream fuel pipeline.
- The operation resulted in a spike in fuel in Europe.
- Ukraine denied having any data of such teams.
US officers have seen new intelligence that signifies a “pro-Ukrainian group” was chargeable for the sabotage in 2022 of the Nord Stream fuel pipelines, the New York Instances reported on Tuesday, claims dismissed by a senior Ukrainian official.
In a cautious report that didn’t establish the supply of the intelligence or the group concerned, the Instances stated the US officers had no proof implicating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky within the pipeline bombing.
However the assault benefitted Ukraine by severely damaging Russia’s skill to reap tens of millions by promoting pure fuel to Western Europe.
On the identical time, it added to the strain of excessive vitality costs on key Ukrainian allies, significantly Germany.
The intelligence advised the perpetrators behind the sabotage have been “opponents of President Vladimir V Putin of Russia”, the Instances report stated.
“Ukraine has nothing to do with the Baltic Sea mishap and has no details about ‘pro-Ukraine sabotage teams’,” presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted on Tuesday.
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US officers had no indication of who precisely took half or who organised and paid for the operation, which might have required expert divers and explosives consultants.
They believed these concerned have been in all probability Ukrainian or Russian nationals, and that none have been from the US or Britain.
This handout image launched by the Danish Defence Command exhibits the fuel leak on the Nord Stream 2 fuel pipeline as it’s seen from the Danish Defence’s F-16 rejection response off the Danish Baltic island of Bornholm, south of Dueodde.
German investigators believed the unidentified group was made up of 5 males and one lady utilizing professionally falsified passports, in accordance with separate German media stories.
German officers had recognized the boat suspected to have been used within the assault, in accordance with the broadcasters ARD, SWR and weekly journal Zeit.
The yacht in query was stated to have been rented out by an organization primarily based in Poland, belonging to 2 Ukrainians, per the German report, which referred solely to sources in a number of nations.
The commando group is alleged to have set sail from the north German port of Rostock on 6 September 2022 and was localised the next day on the Danish island of Christianso within the Baltic.
The yacht was subsequently returned to the proprietor uncleaned, with investigators capable of finding traces of explosives on the desk within the cabin, in accordance with the detailed report.
The pipelines have been ruptured by subsea explosives on 26 September, seven months after Russian forces invaded Ukraine.
US officers have “no agency conclusions” concerning the intelligence, “leaving open the chance that the operation may need been performed off the books by a proxy pressure with connections to the Ukrainian authorities or its safety companies”, the Instances stated.
The dearth of a agency suspect meant worldwide intelligence officers had not dominated out the opportunity of a “false flag” operation to hyperlink the assault to Ukraine, per the German media.
Authorities in Germany, Sweden and Denmark have opened probes into the incident.
A spokesperson for the German authorities stated it had “taken notice” of the New York Instances’ report, referring again to the continued investigation.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson advised reporters late on Tuesday:
There may be an ongoing preliminary investigation in Sweden, so I don’t intend to touch upon these stories.
Talking on the identical press convention, NATO Secretary Normal Jens Stoltenberg echoed the remarks, saying it could be “flawed to invest” earlier than the investigations have been accomplished.
In February, veteran US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported that the US was behind the operation to bomb the Nord Stream pipelines and that Norway assisted.
The White Home blasted Hersh’s report, which cited an unnamed supply, as “full fiction”.