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Putin hopes Nordic nation will support Nord Stream investigation

Russia expects Denmark to back its initiative to create an international committee to probe the blast

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he expects Denmark to support Moscow’s proposal to set up an international commission to investigate the circumstances of the September bombing of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines. 

Speaking at a ceremony on Wednesday for newly appointed ambassadors of foreign states to present their credentials, Putin addressed Denmark’s new envoy, Jakob Henningsen. 

“Today, the Baltic Sea is literally restless. First of all, I will mention the sabotage on the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines that took place in September 2022. We hope, Mr. Ambassador, that the Danish side will support our proposals to establish an independent international commission to establish all the circumstances of the incident,” the president said. 

He noted that relations between Russia and Denmark date back some 530 years and that at one time “even the reigning houses of the two countries were in family ties.” Putin recalled that the wife of Russian Emperor Alexander III, Maria Feodorovna, was of Danish origin and that “our states have historically always been close to each other. They behaved like good neighbors in the Baltic.” 

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An aerial view of a gas leak following the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea, September 28, 2022
West ‘not so eager to find out’ who bombed Nord Stream – WaPo

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines were destroyed in a series of near-simultaneous explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm in September. The blasts severed a key conduit for Russian natural gas to reach Europe, although the flow through Nord Stream 1 had been shut earlier that month. The German government halted the process for launching into service the newly constructed Nord Stream 2 pipeline immediately after Russia’s military operation in Ukraine got underway last February. 

Investigations into the incident are still ongoing, and a number of theories have been floated about who was responsible for the attack. American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed in February that the administration of US President Joe Biden ordered the CIA to destroy the pipelines with the help of the Norwegian Navy. The US has denied involvement.  

Articles appearing in the New York Times and in German media have suggested that the sabotage was carried out by an unaffiliated pro-Ukrainian group using a yacht rented from Poland. 

Hersh, however, has stated that the yacht story was planted in the media by the CIA and its German counterpart, the BND, as a red herring.

April 05, 2023 at 08:23PM

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