US media is coalescing around theory Ukraine plans to blow up pipeline
The CIA has known since at least October that Russia did not blow up the Nord Stream gas pipeline, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. While that report claimed the CIA was trying to thwart a Ukrainian-led plot to bomb the pipeline, a competing report said the agency actually carried out the dismantling effort.
The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines were destroyed in a series of near-simultaneous explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm in late September. The explosion cut off a key pipeline of Russian gas to Europe, effectively eliminating the possibility that European countries would lift sanctions on Moscow and restart gas purchases.
While US President Joe Biden did not blame Russia for the blast, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the BBC “it seems” Like Moscow is the culprit and Ukraine has repeatedly and publicly accused Russia of sabotaging its own gas pipeline.
However, CIA Director William Burns told “European counterparts” October that “The available evidence does not point to Russia,” The Wall Street Journal reported citing an official who attended the meeting.When asked if Ukraine was to blame, Burns reportedly replied “I hope not.”
The CIA was aware of Ukraine’s plans to bomb the pipeline in early 2022, but warned Kiev not to carry out the attack, according to US newspaper reports. The agency told its European counterparts in August that Ukraine had agreed and the threat had subsided, but two sets of Nord Stream were destroyed a month later.
The WSJ report comes a day after similar articles by Dutch outlet NOS and German weekly Die Zeit claimed that U.S. spies learned of the alleged Ukrainian plot from their Dutch colleagues and intervened to stop it. it happens. According to earlier reports in The New York Times and Der Spiegel, “Pro-Ukrainian groups” Actually managed to dismantle the gas pipeline and use a rented yacht to transport the explosives to the blast site.
The chain of events was refuted by American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who claimed in February that the Biden administration ordered the CIA to bomb Nord Stream with the help of the Norwegian Navy. Citing U.S. intelligence sources, Hersh said the explosives were placed during NATO military exercises in the Baltic Sea last June and triggered remotely three months later. Hersh later said the yacht-charter story was a diversion planted by the CIA and its German counterpart, the BND, in the U.S. and German media.
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Both Washington and Kiev have denied any involvement in the sabotage.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in March that he “totally agree” Conclusion with Hersh. The Russian president argued that the United States in particular benefited from the attack because of its role as a competing gas supplier to Europe.