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Moscow says US behind Nord Stream leaks

This file photo, taken on November 8, 2011, shows a view of the gas pipeline terminal prior to an inaugural ceremony for the first of Nord Stream's twin 1,224 kilometer gas pipelines through the Baltic Sea, in Lubmin, northeastern Germany. (By AFP)

Russia says the US is behind the leaks on Nord stream pipelines as ruptures occurred in the coasts of Denmark and Sweden, which are “fully under the control” of US intelligence agencies.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said on Thursday that ruptures to the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines that caused four gas leaks off the coasts of Denmark and Sweden occurred in territory that is completely under US control.

“It happened in the trade and economic zones of Denmark and Sweden. There are NATO-centric countries,” Zakharova said an interview with the Soloviev Live online broadcast.

She did not provide evidence of US control over Sweden and Denmark but said “they are countries that are completed controlled by the US intelligence services.”

Russia and the West have traded blame over alleged sabotage that caused mysterious leaks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines. The issue has been at the heart of a standoff between Russia and Europe over energy supplies since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Earlier on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said accusations that Moscow was behind the gas leaks were “stupid and absurd.” He pointed to the “huge profits” for US LNG suppliers who have “increased their supplies by several times.”

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines were hit by unexplained leaks on September 26. The Nord Stream 1 leaks were first spotted on Monday evening, hours after a drop in pressure was reported in Nord Stream 2.

Nord Stream 2, which runs almost in parallel to Nord Stream 1, was built in September 2021 but was never launched as Germany refused to certify it. The project was halted altogether just days before Moscow started its so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24.

The pipelines, operated by Russian gas giant Gazprom, are not currently in operation, but they both still contain gas.

The Russian embassy in Denmark alleged in a statement on Wednesday that the leaks were an act of “sabotage against the energy security of Russia and Europe.”

Denmark is a member of the NATO military alliance, while Sweden’s membership is pending after it abandoned its historic policy of non-alignment following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Council of the European Union promised a “robust and united response” to the incidents, adding that “all available information indicates those leaks are the result of a deliberate act.”

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