Kremlin rejects Nord Stream report as “diversion”.

MOSCOW: Russia on Wednesday dismissed reports that a “pro-Ukrainian group” with no official ties to the government in Kiev may have carried out an attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year.

Four major gas leaks were discovered on the pipelines connecting Russia and Germany last September, with Moscow and the West accusing each other of “sabotage.”

The New York Times report did not identify the source of the intelligence information or the name of the group that might be responsible, but said officials had seen no evidence implicating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“It’s clear the people who orchestrated the attack want to create a diversion. This is clearly a well-coordinated media campaign,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments from state agency RIA Novosti.

“This whole story isn’t just weird. It smells like a monstrous crime,” Peskov added.

Russia said it will be barred from investigations being carried out by Swedish, Danish and German authorities, who have not blamed any country or actor.

“We are still not allowed to participate in the investigation,” said Peskow.

“We received corresponding notifications from Danes and Swedes just a few days ago.”

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told reporters in Stockholm that the blast was “not our activity”.

And Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted: “Ukraine has nothing to do with the Baltic Sea disaster and has no information about ‘pro-Ukrainian sabotage groups’.” -AFP Kremlin rejects Nord Stream report as “diversion”.

Russell Falcon

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