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Russia: US should prove it did not blow up Nord Stream

A view of the transfer station for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, in the industrial area of Lubmin, Germany, August 30, 2022 (photo by Reuters)

Russia says the United States should prove that it was not behind the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, days after a report by American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh alleged that US Navy divers sabotaged the multibillion-dollar Russian infrastructure.

In a statement on Thursday, the Russian Embassy in the US also stressed that the bombing of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines last year had been "an act of international terrorism" and Moscow would not allow it to be swept under the rug.

Two of the pipelines, known collectively as Nord Stream 1, had been providing Germany and much of Western Europe with cheap Russian natural gas for more than a decade. A second pair of pipelines, known as Nord Stream 2, had been built but was not yet operational.

Back on September 26, 2022, a series of explosions took place on the pipelines, knocking out three of the four strings of the Nord Stream network, off the coast of the Danish island of Bornholm.

Following the blasts, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden conducted investigations into the blasts. The preliminary results of a joint probe by Sweden and Denmark showed that the blasts had been "intentional sabotage," but responsibility was not assigned to any party. Moscow has been blaming the West ever since the explosions.

In a detailed report published on his blog last week, Hersh claimed that the bombing of the Nord Stream underwater gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea had been directly ordered by US President Joe Biden and carried out by the CIA with the help of the US Navy.

The White House swiftly rejected the report as "utterly false and complete fiction." The CIA and the US State Department also rejected the report.

On Wednesday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated that "it is pure disinformation that the United States was behind what transpired."

Russia brings Nord Stream blasts case to UN Security Council: FM

Separately on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, that Moscow was preparing a special United Nations Security Council meeting on the Nord Stream blasts.

"We have contacted the UN and raised the issue there. We are making preparations for a special Security Council meeting where we will demand some semblance for an investigation to be found," the top Russian diplomat said.

Earlier, Spokesperson for UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric claimed that the world body did not have enough authority to launch a probe into the incident.

Lavrov said Moscow would not accept that assertion. "I think that it will be very difficult for [UN] Secretary General [Antonio Guterres] to distance himself from the facts which have been presented to the world and are very hard to deny," he said.

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