‘Suspicious object’ is discovered beneath Nord Stream 2 pipeline – with Putin claiming it could be an explosive device and pointing the finger at the US
- Putin said an antenna-like object had been found beneath Nord Stream 2
- He claimed it could be explosive device as he warned explosion could occur
A ‘suspicious object’ has been discovered beneath the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Black Sea, Danish investigators have said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said a ship rented by Russian energy company Gazprom had found an antenna-like object about 19 miles from where the Nord Stream pipelines exploded last year.
He claimed that the object could be an explosive device as he warned that a new explosion could occur on the pipelines.
‘Experts believe that this could be an antenna to receive a signal to detonate an explosive device, which might be put under the pipeline system,’ Putin said.
Denmark today acknowledged a ‘device’ had been found, but asserted it does not present a current risk. ‘The assessment from our authorities is that there is no immediate security risk and thus no danger to human life or shipping,’ Danish foreign minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said a ship rented by Russian energy company Gazprom had found an antenna-like object about 19 miles from where the Nord Stream pipelines exploded last year
In this file photo taken on September 27, 2022 this handout picture released by the Danish Defence Command shows the gas leak at the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines connecting Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea were hit by a series of unexplained explosions last September, in what Moscow has called an act of ‘international terrorism’.
Putin today dismissed as ‘sheer nonsense’ allegations that Ukrainians could be behind the blasts that damaged the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea last year, and again pointed the finger at the U.S.
It comes as Denmark said it was looking into whether the ‘object’ found close to the only remaining intact Nord Stream gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea posed any safety or environmental risks.
‘Given the location of the object relevant authorities are currently assessing safety and environmental considerations,’ the Danish foreign ministry wrote in the letter to the Russian foreign ministry through its embassy in Copenhagen.
On Tuesday, the ministry said that the assessment of relevant authorities concluded that the object did not pose any immediate security threat and that there is no immediate threat to marine traffic or people in the area.’
‘We asked the Danish authorities… about a request to work together or to form an international group of experts, specialists,’ Putin said in an interview with the state Rossiya-1 TV channel.
‘The answer, as I said, was vague. Simply put, no answer. They said we had to wait.’
He was asked by a TV reporter whether this could be an element of a ‘terrorist attack’ on Nord Stream.
Putin replied: ‘Yes, yes, yes, judging by everything. There were several explosive devices, something exploded, and something didn’t. It is not clear for what reasons.’
A view of the damaged Nord Stream pipeline as a result of a series of explosions last year
Gazprom had sent pictures of the device to the Danish authorities and held meetings with the embassy in Russia, said Rasmussen.
‘It has also been followed up with a direct inquiry to our embassy in Russia. Of course, we take it very seriously, and it is being investigated,’ Rasmussen added.
Last week Die Zeit newspaper reported that German investigators suspected yacht Andromeda, owned by a Ukrainian, was used to plant the explosives on the pipeline.
Putin said in Siberia that the explosions – leading to significant gas leaks – had been carried out on a ‘state level’.
He dismissed claims an autonomous pro-Ukraine group was responsible as ‘complete nonsense’.
Russia in November said it would hand over ‘evidence’ that Britain staged explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea.
TV propagandists have repeatedly blamed British secret services or the Royal Navy for an alleged attack.
Nord Stream 2 was built to supply Europe with gas but NATO countries are seeking alternative supplies following Putin’s invasion of sovereign state Ukraine.