MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Monday said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as he held a joint news conference with Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, openly laid out the motives for the US and NATO to destroy the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines.
"Blinken openly, without hesitation, spoke about the fact that the US and its NATO partners have motives for the destruction of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines," the diplomat said on Telegram.
Zakharova wrote Blinken said the pipelines weren’t pumping any gas to Europe at the time, Nord Stream 2 hadn’t been allowed to operate, and Nord Stream 1 had been on hold for a few weeks because Russia used energy as a weapon.
Zakharova said Russia never used energy as a weapon. "Russia, and before it the USSR, simply supplied Europe with gas. Without interruption. For 50 years. Washington's lies serve only to confirm its criminal manipulation of this issue," she said.
As a motive to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines, Zakharova cited Blinken as saying that the US ramped up its production and are now a leading LNG supplier to Europe, helping to make up for any loss by Europe of oil and gas supplies from Russia. Zakharova said Ukraine had nothing to do with the situation and that "pressed by US officials, Kiev politicians regularly set conditions for the Russian side - verging on blackmail - for gas transit."
The Nord Stream AG company reported that three threads of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 offshore gas pipelines had suffered unprecedented damage on September 26. Swedish seismologists later reported that two explosions had been recorded along the Nord Stream pipelines. The Danish Energy Agency reported that a large amount of gas had spilled into the sea. Aircraft and ships are barred from approaching the site any closer than five nautical miles.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen described the incidents as sabotage, saying any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is unacceptable and would be met with a decisive response.