Ukraine has denied any involvement in the underwater explosions which damaged the Nord Stream Pipeline in September 2022. The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines transport gas from Russia to Europe. Both failed due to damage caused by explosions.
Government officials from Ukraine issued the denial after reports surfaced in the media claiming that a group sympathetic to Ukraine was responsible for the Nord Stream sabotage.
According to a report by The New York Times, anonymous sources from the US intelligence community told the newspaper that there was evidence to suggest that a pro-Ukrainian group was to blame. German media reports have made similar claims. However, as of yet, no conclusive evidence has been made publically available.
Similarly, The Times reported that an unnamed Ukrainian sponsor funded the attack on the pipelines without the knowledge of the Ukrainian government. The report also alleged that NATO officials had known the identity of those involved but kept quiet to avoid a row between Germany and Ukraine.
Meanwhile, researchers from German broadcasters ARD and SWR, as well as Contrast magazine and Die Zeit, concluded that a commando unit of six personnel was responsible for the attack.
According to a report appearing in Die Zeit, the unit rented a yacht from a company based in Poland owned by two Ukrainians. They picked up the vessel from Rostock in Germany, on September 6, 2022, and proceeded to destroy the gas pipelines on September 26.
Ukraine responds to Nord Stream Pipeline claims
Ukraine has denied speculation that it had any involvement in actions that led to damage to the Nord Stream pipelines.
“This is not our activity,” said Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov before a meeting with EU defense ministers in Stockholm on Tuesday.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said that Ukraine was “absolutely not involved” in the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines.
Russia has also commented on the speculation surrounding the blasts in September last year.
Dmitry Peskov, who is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, said that a transparent investigation was needed and bemoaned Russia’s lack of involvement.
“We are still not allowed in the investigation. Only a few days ago we received notes about this from the Danes and Swedes,” Peskov said to RIA, a Russian state broadcaster.
“This is not just strange. It smells like a monstrous crime,” he added.
Meanwhile, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius cautioned against coming to any firm conclusions.
Pistorius claimed that the sabotage could have been a “false flag” operation to pin the blame on Ukraine and said that “The likelihood of one [theory] or the other is just as high.”