Lavrov Warns West If Nord Stream Probe Blocked, Response Will Follow
10:00 GMT 10.03.2023 (Updated: 11:16 GMT 10.03.2023)
© Photo : Nord Stream 2 / Nikolai RyutinNord Stream 2
© Photo : Nord Stream 2 / Nikolai Ryutin
Earlier, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia continued to demand a transparent investigation into the terrorist attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, adding that it is necessary to identify those who carried out and ordered the attack, and to allow Russia to participate in the probe.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cautioned on Friday that if the Nord Stream investigation gets stonewalled, then Moscow will contemplate how to respond to the West for its direct attack on Russian property.
"This gross terrorist attack will not remain uninvestigated. If an investigation — an objective, impartial, which will be transparent, of course — is blocked, we will think about how to respond to the West on this direct attack, a direct attack on our property," Lavrov said.
Earlier in the day, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov vowed that Moscow won't let the international investigation into the Nord Stream sabotage be swept under the rug, and the US must stop undermining the probe.
"The road taken here is to cover this all up. But we will not allow what is happening to be swept under the rug, we call on the United States and its European satellites to stop sabotaging what is overdue, namely the launch of an independent international investigation of this event," Ryabkov insisted.
Ryabkov added that the responsibility for the Nord Stream blasts lies squarely with the United States and castigated the media leaks as a ploy to put the probe on the wrong track.
On March 7, US media reported, citing US officials, that new intelligence suggested involvement of a "pro-Ukrainian group" in the Nord Stream incidents. At the same time, US officials reportedly said there was no proof of the Ukrainian leadership being involved in the operation.
The Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, built to deliver gas under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, have been out of action since they were hit by explosions last September. Nord Stream's operator, Nord Stream AG, said that the damage was unprecedented and it was impossible to estimate the time repairs might take.
Russia deems the explosions of the two pipelines to be an act of international terrorism. There are no official results of the investigation yet, but Pulitzer Prize-winning US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a bombshell report in February 2023 saying that US Navy divers, operating under the cover of NATO’s BALTOPS 22 exercise last summer, planted remotely triggered explosives which Norway activated a few months later. The report added that US President Joe Biden had decided to sabotage the Nord Stream pipelines after more than nine months of secret discussions with his national security team.