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Russia blames US for burst pipeline

Russia has accused the West of being behind the “terror attacks” on the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic.

October 1, 2022
By David Klepper
1 October 2022

The Kremlin and Russian state media are aggressively pushing a baseless conspiracy theory blaming the United States for damage to natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea in what analysts said was another effort to split the US and its European allies.

The Russian position was also reverberating on social media forums popular with American conservatives and far-right groups on Friday.

NATO leaders believe the damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines between Russia and Germany is the result of sabotage. NATO has refrained from identifying a suspect pending an investigation into the damage.

Russia began blaming the US quickly after the damage was reported on Monday night. On Friday, speaking at a ceremony to annex four Ukrainian regions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said “Anglo-Saxons” in the West were behind the “terror attacks” but did not specify any nations.

Pravda and other Russian state outlets reported Thursday that the US operates underwater robots capable of carrying out the acts of sabotage. The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman wrote about her suspicions of US involvement in a Telegram post.

“Europe must know the truth!” Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram on Wednesday.

The assertions of US responsibility cite President Joe Biden’s threat in February to stop the recently completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invaded Ukraine. “If Russia invades … then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2,” Biden said. “We will bring an end to it.”

The US State Department has dismissed Russia’s claims, with a spokesman calling them preposterous and saying the idea of US involvement “is nothing more than a function of Russian disinformation and should be treated as such.”

The two Nord Stream lines were not in operation but were filled with tons of methane that began bubbling to the surface following the damage. Russia recently shut off the Nord Stream 1 pipeline as it ramped up energy pressure on Europe. Nord Stream 2 has never been used.

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson played the Biden clip on his show Tuesday and brought up the possibility that the US was behind the sabotage.

“If they did this, this will be one of the craziest, most destructive things any American administration has ever done, but it would also be totally consistent with what they do,” Carlson said.

Former President Donald Trump also reposted Biden’s remarks on Truth Social along with a call for the US to remain “cool, calm” in its relations with Russia. “Wow. What a statement. World War III anyone?” he wrote.

Messages left with spokespeople for Fox News and Trump were not immediately returned on Friday.

It’s not the first time Russia has spread disinformation seeking to redirect blame for the war and undermine Ukraine’s allies. Earlier this year, Kremlin-controlled media mounted a disinformation operation asserting the US had been running secret bioweapon labs in Ukraine. 

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