Russia's Lavrov says EU is not properly investigating Nord Stream blasts

No evidence found to link Moscow to explosions, report says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Moscow has blamed Britain for the explosions in Danish and Swedish waters. Reuters
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday said no European country was conducting a proper investigation into the series of explosions that ruptured the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September.

Russia has blamed Britain for the explosions which occurred in Danish and Swedish waters — claims rejected by London.

Investigators in Sweden and Denmark say the blasts were sabotage, though they have not named a culprit.

“After the explosions on Nord Stream — which, it appears nobody in the European Union is going to objectively investigate — Russia stopped gas transportation through the northern routes,” Mr Lavrov said.

The Washington Post, quoting diplomats and intelligence officials, reported on Wednesday that no conclusive evidence had emerged to suggest Russia was behind the attack, as some western governments and analysts claimed in the immediate aftermath.

“There is no evidence at this point that Russia was behind the sabotage,” one European official told the US daily.

Some sources did not think Russia was responsible for the attack, while others said it may be impossible to establish who was to blame.

All sources agreed the damage was deliberate and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told the newspaper that he suspected a “state-level actor”.

US intelligence analysts have not intercepted communication between Russian officials and military forces taking credit, the report said.

Several western officials blamed Russia, with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau saying the attack could be part of Russia’s hybrid war on Nato.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck also implicitly blamed Moscow at the time, saying “Russia saying ‘it wasn’t us’, is like saying ‘I’m not the thief'.”

Russia has always denied being behind the attack, which pushed countries with offshore oil and gas installations like Norway to beef up military patrols. The EU conducted stress tests of European infrastructure

The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines have a joint annual capacity of 110 billion cubic metres — more than half of Russia's normal gas export volume.

Sections of the 1,224km pipelines, which run from Russia to Germany, lie at a depth of around 80-110 metres, and Moscow says no decision has been taken on whether to attempt to repair them.

Updated: December 21, 2022, 1:29 PM
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