US to Support European Investigations of Nord Stream Explosions, State Dept. Says
18:44 GMT 23.12.2022 (Updated: 17:08 GMT 31.07.2023)
© Photo : Swedish Coast Guard In this picture provided by Swedish Coast Guard, a small release from Nord Stream 2 is seen, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022
© Photo : Swedish Coast Guard
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States will support European investigations into the explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipelines and considers any suggestions that Washington was somehow involved in the incidents "absolutely baseless," a State Department spokesperson said on Friday.
"We will continue close coordination with our European Allies and partners and support European investigations and continue our efforts to increase energy independence. Any suggestion the United States was involved with this is absolutely baseless," the spokesperson told Sputnik in a statement.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the explosions a terrorist attack that could only be carried out with the direct participation of state structures that are interested in the continuation of gas transit via Ukraine.
On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported, citing a European official, that there is no evidence that Russia was responsible for the explosions at the pipeline system in September. The statement was confirmed by 23 other diplomatic and intelligence officials in nine countries interviewed by the newspaper.
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The blasts occurred on September 26 at three of the four strings of Nord Stream 1 and 2 underwater pipelines built to carry a combined 110 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Europe annually. The incidents halted gas deliveries to Germany ahead of the cold season, prompting a gas price hike and a scramble for alternative sources in the European Union.
Germany, Denmark, and Sweden launched separate investigations into the suspected sabotage, with German media reporting trust issues between the three EU nations. The Russian chief prosecutor's office said it had opened an inquiry on suspicion of international terrorism.