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US seeking to play down involvement in Nord Stream blasts: Russian embassy

Security walks in front of the landfall facility of the Baltic Sea gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 in Lubmin, Germany, September 19, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

The Russian embassy in the United States has accused Washington of attempting to play down damning information about its alleged involvement in last year's Nord Stream gas pipeline blasts.

The embassy said in a statement posted on its Telegram messaging platform on Wednesday that Washington was doing "everything possible" to prevent "impartial efforts" from establishing the circumstances around the explosions.

"We see this as an obvious attempt... to play down information from reputable journalists that is damaging for the United States about the likely direct involvement of American intelligence services," it said in the statement, which was posted in Russian.

"We see an obvious attempt by US authorities to hide behind the backs of the allies," it said.

On Monday, the UN Security Council voted not to adopt a Russian proposal for an independent inquiry into the explosions, which occurred last September. The US claimed the proposal was intended to undermine the national investigations being run by Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. The Kremlin announced on Tuesday that Moscow would keep pressing for an international investigation nevertheless.

The pipelines, which connect Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, were hit by unexplained explosions in September last year in what Moscow called an act of "international terrorism."

Swedish and other European investigators say the blasts were caused by deliberate attacks.

Veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed last month that the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines had been ordered by US President Joe Biden and conducted jointly by America and Norway. Both nations have denied those allegations. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that he "fully agreed" with Hersh's conclusions.

Hersh, who gained recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai massacre of unarmed Vietnamese civilians by US military troops and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.

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