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Putin: US intelligence destroyed Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow, Russia in February 21, 2023. (Sputnik photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that most probably the United States was behind the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September last year.

Putin told Russia 24 TV on Saturday that he agrees with the conclusions made by leading investigative American journalist Seymour Hersh that US President Joe Biden plotted to blow up Russia's Nord Stream pipelines to punish Germany for refusing to supply arms to Ukraine in the midst of the war.

It would be “very difficult” to bring the entire truth to light, the Russian leader said. Nevertheless, he expressed his hope that at some point in time “it will be finally revealed what was done and how.”

The Russian leader then cited Hersh, calling him “an American journalist, who recently gained prominence in the world,” and said that he “conducted an investigation and … concluded that this blast was orchestrated by the US intelligence.”

“I fully agree with these conclusions,” Putin added.

In an interview with China Daily, published on Friday, Hersh said that Biden blew up the pipelines to punish German Chancellor Olaf Sholz for his unwillingness about providing Kiev with lethal arms and tanks.

“The president then decided in late September to trigger the mines. The war wasn’t going great in Ukraine. The American war that President Biden was so eager to support was not going well by late fall, at best a stalemate, two sides just standing there,” he said.

“The only thing I can link, think and guess, and those involved thought the same, the President was afraid that Chancellor Scholz did not want to invest even more weapons and armaments. That’s all. I don’t know if it was anger or punishment,” Hersh said.

On Wednesday, Hersh said the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) provided the Western media with an alternative story for the destruction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to cover up Washington’s involvement.

In a post on his Substack blog, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter claimed the CIA was tasked with preparing a cover story to provide the American and German press with an “alternative version” of the Nord Stream 2 explosions.  

The US agency collaborated with the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) of Germany.

The US agency collaborated with the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) of Germany.

Citing an anonymous source with access to diplomatic intelligence, Hersh wrote, “In the words of the intelligence community, the agency was ‘to pulse the system’ in an effort to discount the claim that Biden had ordered the pipeline’s destruction.”

He added that the CIA in collaboration with Germany’s BND had completed its task and planted stories in the New York Times and German weekly Die Zeit.

These planted stories referred to a supposed “ad hoc ‘off the books’ operation” conducted by a “pro-Ukrainian group.”

Earlier this month, American and German media reported claims of the US intelligence that a "pro-Ukrainian group" bombed the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year.

The New York Times said that US officials "believed the saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two." It did not identify the source of the intelligence and the suspected group involved.

Putin on March 14 rejected as “complete nonsense” the idea that an autonomous pro-Ukraine group was behind the attacks. He said no amateur group could commit such an act of sabotage.

He said the blasts targeting the Nord Stream gas pipelines were carried out on a state level.

He also reiterated the Kremlin’s stance that the US has the capability to blow the natural gas pipelines.

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