Kremlin suspects Nord Stream attack may have occurred without state backing

MOSCOW — The Kremlin said Thursday that it does not believe the attack on the NodeStream pipeline last September could have been carried out without state support.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s comments came after The New York Times reported this week that US officials were investigating whether a pro-Ukrainian non-governmental group was responsible for the explosion. .

“As for the pro-Ukrainian angle, the idea that Dr. Evil organized it is incredible. There aren’t that many in the world,” Peskov asked about the report.

The New York Times said on Tuesday that new information vetted by US officials suggests that a pro-Ukrainian group likely made up of Ukrainians or Russians attacked the Nord Stream gas pipeline. However, no firm conclusions have been reported.

Russia has repeatedly asked for permission to participate in the investigation of explosions that ruptured three of the four pipelines in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas links linking Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea.

Swedish, Danish and German investigators are now conducting separate investigations.

“We will continue to demand a speedy and transparent investigation and to allow our participation in this investigation,” Peskov told reporters at a regular Kremlin briefing.

“We need to identify who did it and who gave the order. It is too dangerous a precedent to carry out a terrorist attack against a piece of critical international energy infrastructure,” he added.

Peskov again rejected the “ridiculous hypothesis” that Russia itself could have been behind the attacks on its infrastructure.