ULAN-UDE, March 14. /TASS/. A Gazprom ship has found evidence that could mean there’s another explosive device on a Nord Stream pipeline 30 kilometers from the site of the past terrorist attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday in an interview aired by Rossiya-1 television.
Putin said in the interview with journalist Pavel Zarubin that Gazprom had earlier received permission from Denmark to examine the site of the explosion at the Nord Stream undersea natural gas pipeline, but the ship that the company hired went further along the pipeline.
"And at a distance of about 30 kilometers from the site of the explosion, a little stake was found, which was placed at a location that’s similar to where the blast took place," Putin said.
He said he was referring to pipe junctions, the most vulnerable spots of any gas pipeline.
"Specialists believe it might be an antenna to receive a signal to detonate an explosive device that could have been - I’m not certain but it’s possible - planted under the pipeline system," the president said.
He said "it appears that several explosive devices were planted" along the Nord Stream.
"Some of them went off, and some didn’t. The reasons are unclear," Putin said.
No answer from Denmark
"And now, of course, we would like to receive permission from the Danish government conduct the necessary examination either on our own, or jointly with them, but better yet, establish an international group of experts and bomb engineers that could work at a depth like that. And if need be, to defuse the explosive device, of course, if there is one down there," the president continued.
"But following our request to the Danish government, we received an answer that they need to think about it and they will respond when they consider it possible. That’s the uncertain response that was given," Putin shared.
"We made inquiries to the Danish government, in a quiet, non-public way, about carrying out a joint mission, or assembling an international group of experts and specialists who could dive to the bottom together, in a transparent fashion, to openly examine this site and, if an explosive device is indeed found there, to try to deactivate it," the president said. "Their response was ambiguous. To put it bluntly, there was really no answer at all. They said that [we] need to wait."
Attack on the pipelines
On September 27 Nord Stream AG reported unprecedented destruction at three threads of its Nord Stream pipeline that occurred the day before. Swedish seismologists registered two explosions on September 26 along the route of the pipelines. Russian prosecutors started investigating the incident as an attack by international terrorists.
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on February 8 published an article where he said, citing a source, that explosives under the Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were planted by US Navy divers, helped by Norwegian specialists, under the guise of the Baltops exercise in June. The story stated that the CIA and Burns took part in the preparation of the operation, and US president Joe Biden personally authorized the operation after nine months of deliberations with the administration’s national security staff. Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the National Security Council at the White House, responded to a request for comment from TASS that the story laid out by Hersh was totally false and complete fiction.
The New York Times reported last week, citing US officials, that the latest intelligence data suggest a pro-Ukrainian group could be behind the sabotaging of the pipelines. The US government wasn’t aware of the operation, the report said. The German newspaper Die Zeit issued a report that said German investigators had identified the ship that was used by the saboteurs. The company that rented it was allegedly owned by Ukrainian nationals and was registered in Poland.