Denmark Believes Object Found Near Nord Stream Located There Long Before Blasts, Media Reports
© Photo : Swedish Coast Guard In this picture provided by Swedish Coast Guard, the gas leak in the Baltic Sea from Nord Stream photographed from the Coast Guard's aircraft on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2022
© Photo : Swedish Coast Guard
MURMANSK, Russia (Sputnik) - The object, which Russian President Vladimir Putin stated was near the Nord Stream pipelines during the blasts there last September, had been located there long before the attack, as it was considerably overgrown, Danish newspaper reported on Thursday, citing experts and government documents.
Last week, Putin said that during a survey of the gas pipeline Gazprom experts had found a certain "column" at a distance of about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the site of the explosion. It was installed in a vulnerable place, at the junction of pipes. The object could be an antenna for receiving a signal to set off an explosive device laid under the pipeline system, according to Putin.
Correspondence between Danish government departments and agencies showed that the column found near the explosion site was overgrown, meaning that the object could have been there for a long time, the newspaper said, adding that there had been not much detail about it so far.
At the same time, news outlet reported, citing the deputy director general of the Danish Energy Agency, that the object was not seen on footage recorded in the area of the pipelines in 2019, possibly indicating that it was placed near the pipelines only after 2019.
Earlier in the month, American media reported that intelligence suggested involvement of a "pro-Ukrainian group" in the Nord Stream incidents. US officials said there was no proof of the Ukrainian leadership being involved in the operation. German newspaper reported later, citing investigators, that the attacks had been carried out by six people of unknown nationality with the use of a boat rented from a firm based in Poland and owned by two Ukrainians.
These media reports, however, were castigated by the Kremlin as a coordinated disinformation campaign aimed at diverting attention from the real perpetrators. Addressing the pipeline blasts, President Vladimir Putin dismissed the claims that Ukrainian activists may have been responsible for the destruction of the Nord Stream natural gas conduit.
"I am certain that this is complete nonsense," he stated.
Putin pointed out that only specialists backed by a state that possesses "specific technologies" could have carried out such deep underwater work to create explosions powerful enough to take out the pipelines.
The president’s opinion was echoed by Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev who stressed that a handful of countries worldwide, among them, namely, the US and the UK, are capable of such sabotage.
The Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, built to deliver gas under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, 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 considers the explosions of the two pipelines an act of international terrorism. There are no official results of the investigation yet, but US journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh alleged that the explosions were organized by the United States with the support of Norway. The US denies its involvement in the incident.