Russia claims blaming it for Nord Stream attack is ‘stupid’

A Kremlin spokesman said the claims of Russian involvement are "predictably stupid"

Published

Moscow has slammed claims that Russia is behind the attacks on the Nord Stream pipeline, dubbing them "stupid and absurd".

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters “It’s quite predictable and also predictably stupid to give voice to these kinds of narratives — predictably stupid and absurd," after Ukraine said the attacks were a "terrorist attack" by Moscow.

Mr Peskov also claims that US companies supplying to Europe enjoyed a sharp increase in profits.

Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 1' gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany.
Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 1' gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany.

A Western official said that while the Nord Stream leaks are "highly suspicious," facts need to be established before jumping to conclusions as to what happened.

Europe is investigating the cause of major leaks into the Baltic Sea from two Russian gas pipelines at the centre of an energy standoff with Moscow.

Poland's prime minister said it was an act of sabotage linked to Russia's escalation of the situation in Ukraine.

The damage to the Nord Stream lines has been described as 'highly suspicious'.
The damage to the Nord Stream lines has been described as 'highly suspicious'.

"On the pipelines, clearly, this looks very serious. The multiple explosions at the same time - it's very serious, and is going to have to be investigated," the Western official said, on condition of anonymity.

"It definitely looks highly suspicious, but I think we need to establish the facts and then attribute."

The Kremlin said on Wednesday claims that Russia was behind a possible attack on the Nord Stream pipelines were stupid, adding that the incident needed to be investigated and the timings for repair of the pipelines were not clear.

Following Ukraine's retaking of northeastern territory in a fierce counteroffensive, Putin has announced a partial military mobilisation and stepped up rhetoric about Russia's preparedness to use nuclear weapons.

The Western official said the heightened nuclear rhetoric might be a sign of Putin's panic and his possible realisation that invading Ukraine was a mistake, warning that if he used such weapons there would be unspecified severe consequences.

The official called on Russia, as a member of the UN Security Council, to stop using "deeply irresponsible" nuclear rhetoric, and de-escalate the crisis.

"We are not going to be deterred from supporting Ukraine in defending its own territory," the official said. "(Russia) needs to pull back from this. And of course, there will be really severe consequences if they crossed this reddest of red lines."