The Russian president believes Washington orchestrated the attack on the gas pipelines
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin © Sputnik / Gavriil Grigorov
US intelligence agencies were most likely behind last September’s sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Russia 24 TV on Saturday, adding that he agrees with the conclusions made by veteran American journalist Seymour Hersh.
It would be “very difficult” to bring the entire truth to light, the Russian president admitted in comments to journalist Pavel Zarubin in the Kremlin. Nevertheless, Putin expressed his hope that at some point in time “it will be finally revealed what was done and how.”
The Russian leader then cited Hersh, calling him “an American journalist, who recently gained prominence in the world,” and said that he “conducted an investigation and … concluded that this blast was orchestrated by the US intelligence.”
“I fully agree with these conclusions,” Putin added. He did not elaborate on whether Russia has any evidence of its own to support this position.
In February, Hersh published a bombshell report on the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, accusing Washington of orchestrating the attack. The US has denied responsibility. In March, Hersh went on to claim that the CIA and Germany’s intelligence service, the BND, were tasked with covering up Washington’s involvement by providing an alternative story to the media.
The two intelligence services then supposedly came up with a story about an “off the books operation” by a “pro-Ukrainian group,” according to Hersh. This version was then published by several German and American media outlets.
Moscow dismissed the reports about the Ukrainian trace behind the blasts as “a coordinated media hoax campaign.”