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US tries to hamper Nord Stream investigation by all means — Russian embassy

Russian Embassy in the United States said that Russian see in this an obvious attempt by the authorities to hide behind the backs of the allies, to do everything possible to undermine efforts to find out the true circumstances behind the act of sabotage

WASHINGTON, March 29. /TASS/. The US administration is doing its best to prevent an independent investigation that would reveal the truth about last year’s sabotage attacks on the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, the Russian Embassy in the United States said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We took note of yet another round of statements by US Administration regarding alleged sufficiency of the ‘independent’ national investigations, conducted by European countries into the explosions of the ‘Nord Stream’ gas pipelines," the embassy said. "We see in this an obvious attempt by the authorities to hide behind the backs of the allies, to do everything possible to undermine efforts to find out the true circumstances behind the act of sabotage."

Washington also intends "to stop the circulation of information by respected journalists about possible US intelligence agencies’ direct involvement into the organization of this ‘crime of the century’ against critical infrastructure in the Baltic Sea," Russian diplomats said.

"The Administration’s assurances of full confidence in the ‘thorough’ investigations by allied states are not trustworthy, especially taking into account the refusal to grant to our country - the owner of the gas pipelines - access to these proceedings and, in fact, blocking of the joint appeal by Russia, China, and Brazil at the UN Security Council to launch a full-fledged international investigation," the embassy’s statement continues. "We are convinced that such an approach would be sought-after by all states, interested in establishing the truth and punishing those responsible for the sabotage in order to prevent similar terrorist attacks in the future."

The document goes on to say that "it is very symptomatic that the problem of potentially colossal damage to the environment from incidents on the pipelines is totally ignored by the local media."

"And it's not just about large-scale fuel leaks that have already occurred due to the sabotage," Russian diplomats said. "We would like to remind of the hundreds of thousands of munitions with toxic chemical substances flooded at the bottom of the Baltic Sea after World War II. The area of the Danish island of Bornholm is not an exception. Taking into account their poor condition any explosions in these waters threaten to turn into an unprecedented environmental catastrophe and cause irreparable damage to the regional states. One can only guess whether the perpetrators of the terrorist attack considered these risks."


Nord Stream sabotage

On September 27 last year, Nord Stream AG reported "unprecedented damage" that took place on three lines of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. Swedish seismologists registered two explosions that occurred on September 26 near the pipeline route. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office initiated a criminal case over charges of international terrorism.

On February 8, US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an article, which said, citing sources, that US Navy divers had planted explosive devices under the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines under the cover of the BALTOPS exercise in June 2022, and Norwegians activated the bombs three months later. According to the journalist, the decision to conduct the operation was made by US President Joe Biden personally, following nine months of discussions with White House security specialists. White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a comment to TASS that Hersh’s account was "utterly false and complete fiction.".