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Moscow to continue to demand answers to questions about Nord Stream blasts, diplomat says

Only open international investigation involving Russia can produce reliable data on masterminds of Nord Stream blasts, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman pointed out

MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry will continue to demand answers to questions about the act of sabotage against the Nord Stream gas pipelines, the ministry’s Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Saturday.

"Although Denmark refused to carry out a joint investigation into the act of sabotage, Russia’s Foreign Ministry will continue to demand that Copenhagen provide answers to the questions that have been raised. It won’t be possible to sweep the issue under the carpet," the statement reads.

"We believe that only a comprehensive and open international investigation, which has to involve Russian representatives, can produce reliable and objective data about the causes, organizers and perpetrators of the act of sabotage," Zakharova pointed out.

According to the Russian diplomat, Copenhagen has never been interested in an investigation that could shed light on the organizers and perpetrators of the attack. Zakharova noted that the Danish authorities had failed to respond to Russia’s numerous requests or provide information about any investigation findings.

The Nord Stream AG company reported on September 27, 2022, that three threads of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 offshore gas pipelines had suffered unprecedented damage. Swedish seismologists recorded two explosions along the Nord Stream pipelines on September 26. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office opened a case into an act of international terrorism over damage to the pipelines.

On February 8, US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in an article, citing a source, that US Navy divers, with the assistance of Norwegian specialists, had planted explosive devices under the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines with the assistance of Norwegian specialists under the cover of the BALTOPS exercise in June 2022. According to Hersh, US President Joe Biden made the decision to conduct the operation following nine months of consultations with national security officials. White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a comment to TASS that Hersh’s account was utterly false and complete fiction.

The New York Times reported in early March, citing US officials, that the latest intelligence data suggested a pro-Ukrainian group could have been behind the act of sabotage and the US government wasn’t aware of the operation. The German newspaper Die Zeit, in turn, said that 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. Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalist Pavel Zarubin in an interview that the version put forward by the New York Times was "complete nonsense". The Russian leader stressed that "such explosions - of such power and such depth - can only be carried out by experts with backing from a state that has such capabilities." When asked if Western countries were capable of doing so, he said: "Of course!".