US sees new intel that 'pro-Ukraine group' behind Nord Stream sabotage
The US, Germany, and Ukraine comment on the NYT report that says US officials have seen new intelligence that indicates a "pro-Ukrainian group" was behind the Nord Stream sabotage.
US officials have seen new intelligence that indicates a "pro-Ukrainian group" was responsible for the sabotage last year of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
In a report that did not identify the source of the intelligence or the group involved, the Times said the US officials had no evidence implicating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the pipeline bombing.
The intelligence suggested that the perpetrators behind the sabotage were "opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia," the Times report said.
But the US officials had no indication of who exactly took part and who organized and paid for the operation, which would have required skilled divers and explosives experts.
They believed those involved were probably Ukrainian or Russian nationals and that none were from the United States or Britain.
The officials have "no firm conclusions" about the intelligence, "leaving open the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services," the New York Times report indicated.
The Nord Stream gas pipelines were ruptured by subsea explosives on September 26, seven months after the start of the Ukraine war.
In February, veteran US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported that with Norway's assistance, the United States was behind the operation to bomb the pipelines.
Back then, the White House described Hersh's report, which cited an unnamed source, as "complete fiction."
Read more: West may be concealing Nord Stream probe findings: French General
"I've got nothing to say": Hersh
On his part, Hersh declined to comment to Sputnik on the New York Times report.
"Well, I'm just looking at it. Gee, the sources aren't named," the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist told Sputnik on Tuesday.
"I've got nothing to say," he added.
Read more: Kremlin blasts Western media downplay of Hersh’s documents
Kiev 'absolutely not involved' in Nord Stream attacks: Zelensky aide
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Reuters that Kiev was "absolutely not involved" in last year's sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, claiming that he has no information about what happened.
White House will not comment on NYT report: Kirby
Commenting on the report, White House National Security Council spokesperson, John Kirby, said the US will let the European investigations into the sabotage continue and will not get ahead of its results.
"Several of our European partners, in fact three of them - Germany, Sweden, Denmark - have already opened investigations into what happened with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and those investigations are not closed," Kirby said.
He continued, "I’m just not going to get ahead of that investigative work and I’d have to refer you to each of those European countries to comment on their investigations."
Read more: Chinese MoFA urges Washington for truth about Nord Stream explosions
Germany takes note of New York Times report
On its part, the German government said it had taken note of the New York Times report.
A couple of days ago, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden informed the United Nations Security Council that investigations into the Nord Steam sabotage are ongoing and that there are still no results, a spokesperson for the German Chancellery indicated.
"The Federal Public Prosecutor has been investigating the matter since the beginning of October 2022. It thus has sovereignty over the procedure," the spokesperson said.
Read more: Norway under fire for making record billions from gas and oil revenues