Blinken: Initial reports indicate unconfirmed sabotage of Nord Stream
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that Nord Steam gas leaks are under investigation.
The US rushed to comment on the underwater explosions reported prior to Nord Steam gas leaks, by stressing that it cannot confirm reports that Russia's Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines were sabotaged, adding that such an attack would be disastrous for everyone.
“The leaks are under investigation," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters.
"There are initial reports indicating that this may be the result of an attack or some kind of sabotage, but these are initial reports and we haven't confirmed that yet. But if it is confirmed, that's clearly in no one's interest," he added.
Blinken claimed that the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipeline leaks will have little impact on Europe's energy resilience.
"My understanding is the leaks will not have a significant impact on Europe's energy resilience," he stressed.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov suggested that the Nord Stream pipelines had been damaged in an act of sabotage.
The remarks came as the Swedish National Seismic Network (SNSN) reported powerful underwater explosions in the area of gas leaks from the Nord Stream pipeline on Tuesday.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Blinken promised that the West will never recognize “Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory."
This comes shortly after preliminary results of the referenda on the accession of the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) and the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to the country, showed that over 90 percent of voters favor joining Russia.
It is worth noting that final results are expected by Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, more than a hundred foreign observers from 40 countries, excluding specialists from Russia, attending the referenda in the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics, as well as in Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, on their joining the Russian Federation, reported no violations, with the exception of threats and shelling from Ukraine.
The voting in the referenda of DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye, and Kherson's accession to the Russian Federation has begun early on Friday.
Residents of the Zaporozhye and Kherson areas joined the initiative last Tuesday after local public organizations submitted identical demands to their authorities.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has lately indicated in a televised address last Wednesday that Russia will support the referenda results.
NATO countries came together to condemn the referenda, according to a statement revealed last Thursday.
On his account, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has lately threatened Russia with new sanctions in the event of referenda after White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the US condemned the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye, and Kherson referenda to join Russia as "sham" actions and asserted that the US would not recognize the results.
The referenda, according to Sullivan, and a reported Russian plan to mobilize more soldiers, reflect Moscow's recent military defeats, including ceding sizable amounts of land to the Ukrainian military.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Russian military took control of the Azov part of Zaporozhye and Kherson, liberating large cities, such as Kherson, Melitopol, and Berdiansk, and cutting off Kiev from the Sea of Azov.