Russia accuses UK of sabotaging Nord Stream

Russia accuses UK of sabotaging Nord Stream

The United Kingdom is said to be behind the attacks on the two Russian Nord Stream gas pipelines and the Russian fleet in Crimea. This is the accusation made by Moscow to London in these hours, seasoned with a little veiled threat: “These actions cannot be allowed to pass,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Accusations and threats that the United Kingdom is not commenting for the moment, branding them as attempts to “distraction” by Russia. The only admission: the British government’s £6 million plan to fund Ukraine’s defense against Russian cyber-attacks.

Charges and countercharges

However, the case of Nord Stream, the gas pipeline that connects Russia directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea, holds the ground. Precisely in the submarine section, off the coast of Denmark and Sweden, four major leaks were detected on 26 September involving both Nord Stream 1, i.e. the still active gas pipeline, and Nord Stream 2, the pipe negotiated by Berlin and Moscow for double the gas flows, but whose commissioning has been blocked by the war in Ukraine. Preliminary underwater inspections along the two pipelines had reinforced suspicions of sabotage, as the leaks had been preceded by explosions. And according to British intelligence, the Kremlin would have been arming the bombs in an attempt to justify a new stop on supplies to Europe and drive up gas prices.

More than a month after the episode, Russia’s counter-charge has arrived: “Our intelligence services have evidence suggesting that the attack was directed and coordinated by British military specialists,” Peskov told reporters, the Putin’s spokesman. “There is evidence that Britain is engaged in a sabotage, a terrorist attack against (these) vital, not Russian, but international energy infrastructures,” Peskov continued. “Such actions cannot be left (unanswered). We will reflect on the measures to be taken”, he added, denouncing the “unacceptable silence of European capitals”.

The Russian military had already accused London on Saturday of being involved in the Nord Stream leaks. These allegations came after a Ukrainian drone strike on its Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, the planning of which Moscow also attributed to “British experts”. The British Defense had denounced “false claims” by Moscow intended according to it to “divert attention”. A line that the new British premier, Rishi Sunak, continues to follow.

The revelations of London

If anything, the UK has admitted its participation in the Ukrainian defense program against Russia’s cyber-attacks. According to the BBC, London has developed a £6m plan aimed at tackling Moscow’s hackers, who would have caused “very significant” damage without British assistance, said Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Leo Docherty.

The British government made the plan public as the news had already come out in some Russian media. The undersecretary tried to downplay the fact that this kind of London involvement could be seen by Russia as a form of direct intervention in the ongoing war. Instead, Docherty compared it to the United Kingdom sending weapons to the Kiev army.

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