International /

Russia Says U.S. Should Prove It's Not Responsible for Nord Stream Explosion

Moscow's demand follows a report from an award-winning journalist which attributed blame for the explosion to the U.S.

Russian officials have challenged the U.S. to prove it was not behind the destruction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the wake of an incendiary report from a veteran journalist who claimed the pipeline was destroyed on the order of U.S. President Joe Biden.

Moscow says that the pipeline explosions were attacks by “international terrorists” in a statement quoted by Russian state media outlet TASS.

The statement was given in response to a report from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, which cited an anonymous person within the U.S. defense apparatus who said U.S. Navy divers planted explosives on the pipeline that were remotely detonated by U.S. officials.

Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, dismissed the report, saying, “This is utterly false and complete fiction.” Ned Price, U.S. State Department spokesman, said, “It is pure disinformation that the United States was behind what transpired” with the explosion of the pipeline.

“We qualify the incident as an act of international terrorism that requires a comprehensive and independent investigation,” Russia’s statement said. “It wouldn’t hurt if the U.S., which claims the monopoly on the truth, shifted from empty accusations directed at us to the matter at hand and at least try to prove it wasn’t involved in the destruction of the gas pipelines.”

TASS quoted a Russian embassy official as saying, “The Russian side won’t allow the situation with the explosions at the critical energy infrastructure to be downplayed, especially given that there’s no information about several undetonated explosives that have apparently remained on the sea bed.”

A day after Hersh’s story was published, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said there would be consequences for the U.S.

Explosions destroyed the Nord Stream Pipelines in September 2022, which resulted in natural-gas erupting like geysers from the Baltic Sea.

The European Union relies heavily on Russian gas. In 2021, Russia supplied 40 percent of Europe’s natural-gas.

Fearing Russian President Vladimir Putin would have a major source of income from the pipeline, as well as Germany and Western Europe becoming “addicted to low-cost natural gas supplied by Russia,” Biden met secretly with officials within the national security community for more than nine months to hatch a plan to destroy Nord Stream 2 in a way that would leave “no overt clue as to who was responsible,” according to Hersh’s reporting.

Russian Foreign Minister Serey Lavrov referred to Hersh’s article in a meeting with media bureaus on Feb. 15, calling the corporate media’s unwillingness to dedicate much time to the story “Orwellian.”

“Imagine something like that was ascribed to Russia in relation to the Canada-US oil pipeline. You wouldn’t have much else to write about then, because all you would be forced to do is cover that incident,” he said. “What we have here is a sensation backed by facts. We have long assumed that the facts existed.”

“Hersh is a serious journalist who does not take back the things he says or the results of his investigation,” Lavrov added. “On the contrary, he confirms them every day and calls out the people he mentioned in his investigation. The reaction? None.”

U.S. officials still deny having any role in the explosions.

*For corrections please email [email protected]*