Salem Radio Network News Thursday, March 30, 2023


U.S. says intel suggests pro-Ukrainian group sabotaged Nord Stream pipelines -NYT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New intelligence reviewed by U.S. officials suggests that a pro-Ukrainian group of likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals carried out the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines last year, but the intelligence reached no firm conclusions, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

There was no evidence that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy or his top lieutenants were involved, or that the perpetrators were acting at the direction of any Ukrainian government officials, the newspaper reported, citing U.S. officials.

Reuters could not independently verify the report, and U.S. officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Representatives for Kyiv and Moscow also could not be immediately reached.

The United States and NATO have called the September 2022 attacks on the pipelines that spewed gas into the Baltic Sea “an act of sabotage,” while Moscow has blamed the West. Neither side has provided evidence.

Built by Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom, the Nord Stream gas pipelines connect Russia and Germany. They have become a flashpoint during Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Representatives for Gazprom also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The intelligence review suggests those who carried out the attacks opposed Russian President Vladimir Putin “but does not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation,” the Times wrote.

“U.S. officials declined to disclose the nature of the intelligence, how it was obtained or any details of the strength of the evidence it contains. They have said that there are no firm conclusions about it,” it added, citing the unnamed officials.

“Officials who have reviewed the intelligence said they believed the saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two. U.S. officials said no American or British nationals were involved,” according to the Times report.

The European countries where the pipeline traveled are investigating, and the U.S. State Department has said it is not party to the probe and is deferring to those nations.

Russia last month called on the United Nations Security Council to independently investigate.

In the year since the invasion, Europe has drastically cut its energy imports from Russia. Moscow this week called for all Nord Stream stakeholders to decide its fate after three of the four pipelines were destroyed in the attacks.

German energy company E.ON, one of the shareholders of the Nord Stream pipeline, declined to comment.

(Additional reporting by Jonathan Landay and Simon Lewis in Washington. Writing by Susan Heavey and Kanishka Singh; Editing by David Gregorio)


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