© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A wind gauge floats above the Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline Nord Stream 1 landing facility in Lubmin, Germany September 19, 2022. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
(Reuters) – Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday the United States had questions to answer about its role in the explosions on the Nord Stream undersea gas pipelines last year.
Commenting on a report released earlier Wednesday that the United States was involved in the blasts, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called on the White House to comment on the “facts” that had been presented.
Reuters was unable to verify the report, posted by US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on his blog, alleging US involvement in the blasts.
The White House said Wednesday that Hersh’s account was “totally false and complete fiction.”
Moscow, without providing evidence, has repeatedly said the West was behind the explosions affecting the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines last September – multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects that transported gas Russian to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
Western officials have denied these accusations.
“The White House must now comment on all these facts,” Zakharova said in a post on her Telegram page where she summarized Hersh’s main claims regarding alleged US involvement.
Investigators from Sweden and Denmark – in whose exclusive economic zones the blasts occurred – said the ruptures were the result of sabotage, but did not say who they believe was responsible.
Russia said the countries “have something to hide” and are deliberately blocking Russia from the investigation.
Construction of Nord Stream 2, designed to double the amount of gas Russia could send directly to Germany under the sea, was completed in September 2021, but never commissioned after Berlin suspended the certification days before Moscow sends its troops to Ukraine in February. .
(This story has been corrected to indicate that the explosions occurred inside the Exclusive Economic Zones of Sweden and Denmark, not their “territorial waters”)