Respond to questions on Nord Stream blasts, Russia tells US

Russian Nord Stream

In relation to its suspected involvement in explosions that destroyed the undersea Nord Stream gas pipelines last year, the United States needs to provide answers, Russia’s foreign ministry says.

It was a response to a blog post written by renowned American journalist Seymour Hersh earlier on Wednesday in which Hersh said President Joe Biden approved the operation and implicated the US military in the operation.

Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry, urged the White House to respond to Hersh’s “facts.”

Hersh described how “skilled deep-water divers” from the US Navy buried C-4 explosives during a training exercise in June, then remotely detonated the payload three months later, citing one anonymous source with “direct knowledge of the operational planning.”

“President Joseph Biden saw the pipelines as a vehicle for [Russian President] Vladimir Putin to weaponize natural gas for his political and territorial ambitions,” Hersh wrote.

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Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, exposed the 1969 American military massacre of Vietnamese civilians. He also exposed the brutal treatment of Iraqi prisoners by US forces at Abu Ghraib during the 2003 US invasion.

Without offering any proof, Russia has frequently claimed that NATO countries were responsible for the explosions that affected the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in September of last year, multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects that delivered Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea. These allegations have been denied by Western officials.

US denies the allegations

“The White House must now comment on all these facts,” Zakharova said in a post on her Telegram page, where she summarised Hersh’s main claims regarding the alleged US involvement.

The White House on Wednesday dismissed Hersh’s post. “This is utterly false and complete fiction,” said Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the National Security Council. A US Department of State spokesperson said the same.

A spokesperson for the Central Intelligence Agency reiterated the White House’s denial and referred to the claim as “completely and utterly false.”