Kyiv denies involvement in Nord Stream pipelines sabotage

Kostan Nechyporenko, Simone McCarthy and Natasha Bertrand

Ukraine has denied any involvement in the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines following a media report citing new intelligence that a “pro-Ukrainian group” may have been behind last year’s attack targeting Russia’s gas deliveries to Europe.

The dismissal by a senior Ukrainian official on Tuesday came in response to a report by the New York Times, which cited new intelligence that had been reviewed by United States officials.

“Although I enjoy collecting amusing conspiracy theories about (the Ukrainian) government, I have to say: (Ukraine) has nothing to do with the Baltic Sea mishap and has no information about ‘pro-(Ukraine) sabotage groups,’” Mykhailo Podolyak, top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on Twitter.

The New York Times said the new intelligence reviewed by US officials suggested a group loyal to Ukraine but acting independently of the government in Kyiv were involved in the operation.

Mystery has surrounded who might be responsible for the brazen sabotage last September which damaged two pipes transporting Russian gas into the European Union and targeted a crucial source of revenue for Moscow. Both pipelines were closed at the time of the attack, which came months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A source familiar with the US intelligence told CNN the assessment was not made with high confidence and is not the predominant view of the intelligence community, and that the US has not yet identified a culprit for the attack.

There is a section of the US intelligence community that believes that pro-Ukrainian actors would have had the motive to sabotage the pipelines because of how Russia was weaponizing them against Ukraine and Europe.

The intelligence community has no evidence, however, that Ukrainian leaders, including Zelensky, had any knowledge of or involvement in the pipeline sabotage, the source said.

The incident, in which underwater explosions occurred before the pipelines burst in several places, remains a major point of contention between Russia and the West.

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