WASHINGTON, December 21. /TASS/. After several months of investigations by various Western countries over the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines there is no evidence that Russia was behind it, the Washington Post newspaper reported on Wednesday citing sources.
"There is no evidence at this point that Russia was behind the sabotage," a European official told the newspaper, echoing the assessment of 23 diplomatic and intelligence officials in nine countries that the Washington Post had interviewed in recent weeks.
Some Western officials told the newspaper that they do not think Russia was responsible for what happened.
"Others who still consider Russia a prime suspect said positively attributing the attack — to any country — may be impossible," the newspaper says.
However, according to the US publication, even those familiar with the details of the forensic examination cannot definitively link Russia to the attack.
The newspaper's sources claim that US intelligence routinely intercepts the conversations of government officials in Russia and the military, but so far, "analysts have not heard or read statements from the Russian side taking credit or suggesting that they’re trying to cover up their involvement."
"A handful of officials expressed regret that so many world leaders pointed the finger at Moscow without considering other countries, as well as extremist groups, that might have the capability and the motive to conduct the attack."
Some officials interviewed by the newspaper expressed regret that "so many world leaders pointed the finger at Moscow" without taking into account that other countries, as well as extremist groups with their own motives, could have carried out the attacks.
"The governments that waited to comment before drawing conclusions played this right," said an anonymous European official the newspaper refers to.
Nord Stream pipeline rupture saga
In late September, three leaks along the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines were detected within a few hours. The first of them was uncovered along Nord Stream 2 near the Danish Island of Bornholm. Then, the other two leaks were discovered along Nord Stream 1.
Later, Swedish seismologists registered two explosions on the routes of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines.
On November 18, the Swedish prosecutor's office stated that gas pipeline explosions were sabotage and that the investigation was continuing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the Anglo-Saxons of sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines, noting that they have actually embarked on the destruction of Europe’s continent-wide energy infrastructure. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Russia's attempts to participate in the investigation into the sabotage of the Nord Stream project had been met with resistance, which would surprise many people in Germany, Sweden, and Denmark.