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Senior Russian diplomat says political moves possible over latest Nord Stream blast info

Alexander Grushko added that Russia would continue to press for access to the investigation

MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. Russia may take legal or political measures in connection with recent findings on the Nord Stream pipeline blasts, published by US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, a senior Russian diplomat said.

"This issue is constantly in our focus, and we will not leave this story unanswered. Political measures may be taken, as well as legal ones," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters on the sidelines of the Valdai Discussion Club on Thursday, commenting on the article by Hersh.

He added that Russia would continue to press for access to the investigation.

"The pipes were Russian, and we are obviously the affected party, so we will press for access to the investigation. We will use all instruments at our disposal to uncover the truth," the diplomat said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said earlier that "there will be consequences, despite Washington’s numerous refutations."

During Thursday’s discussion at the Valdai Discussion Club, Grushko criticized Europe’s response to the blasts and its investigation into the matter.

"The political stance, taken by Europe with regard to these affairs, exposes political impotence and reluctance to defend Europe’s deeply rooted, core interests, the interests that Europe has as Europe, not as a US satellite," he said.

The official reiterated that the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines amounted to attack on critical infrastructure.

"The West bashfully sweeps under the rug the fact that their strategic document amount an attack on critical infrastructure to an armed assault, including in the sense stipulated by [NATO’s] Article 5," he said.

"And when an attack on critical infrastructure, on a pillar of Europe’s longstanding economic prosperity has occurred, Europe just swallowed it in silence: no one said anything, they refused to investigate it or let us participate in investigation," Grushko added.

According to the article published on Wednesday, explosives were planted under the Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines by US Navy divers under the guise of the BALTOPS 22 exercise last June. The story cited an unidentified source with direct knowledge of the operational planning as saying that US President Joe Biden personally authorized the operation. Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the National Security Council at the White House told TASS, replying to the news agency’s question, that the Hersh story was totally false and complete fiction.

On September 27, 2022, Nord Stream AG reported unprecedented damage that occurred the day before on three strings of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipelines. On September 26, Swedish seismologists registered two explosions on the pipeline routes. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office launched a criminal case based on charges of international terrorism.