Senior Pentagon Official: US ‘Absolutely Not Involved’ in Nord Stream Damage

Senior Pentagon Official: US ‘Absolutely Not Involved’ in Nord Stream Damage
A large disturbance in the sea can be observed off the coast of the Danish island of Bornholm on Sept. 27, 2022. (Danish Defence Command )
Jack Phillips

A senior U.S. official said the United States was not involved in the damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines carrying Russian gas earlier this week.

Speaking at a briefing with reporters on condition of anonymity on Wednesday, the Pentagon official said that “the jury is still out” on what actually happened to the pipelines that carry Russian natural gas to Germany.

“Many of our partners, I think, have determined or believe it is sabotage,” the official said. “I’m just—I’m not at the point where I can tell you one way or the other.”

When asked whether any U.S. involvement could be ruled out, the official said that “we were absolutely not involved.”

Officials in Germany and the European Union have suspected that the damage to two pipelines was an act of sabotage. The incident was reported Monday evening as the lines were seen spewing natural gas into the Baltic Sea.

Danish Defense Minister Morten Bodskov met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the damage to the pipelines on Wednesday. Both said it was an act of sabotage, although they did not publicly say who could be responsible.

“There is reason to be concerned about the security situation in the Baltic Sea region,” Bodskov said in a statement to media outlets. “Russia has a significant military presence in the Baltic Sea region, and we expect them to continue their saber rattling.”

No country or nation-state has claimed responsibility for the incident. No Western country has pointed the blame at Russia, although some officials have posted to social media that Moscow was behind the incident.

“All available information indicates those leaks are the result of a deliberate act,” Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said in a statement. He continued, “Any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and will be met with a robust and united response.”

Russian officials said the FSB security service is probing the incident as an act of “international terrorism,” authorities told Interfax. And Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday that suggestions Russia would damage its own gas pipeline were “predictably stupid” and questioned why Moscow would damage its own infrastructure, Reuters reported.

In his briefing with reporters, Peskov also suggested the U.S. government may have been involved. He made note of President Joe Biden’s February remark that “there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2” if Russia invaded Ukraine.


Bjorn Lund‬, the head of the Swedish National Seismic Network at Uppsala University, told NPR Wednesday that it is “very clear from the seismic record that these are blasts” and were not of natural origin.
“These are not earthquakes,” he added. “They are not landslides underwater.” And in an interview with Swedish television, Lund said he has “no doubt that these were explosions.”

H.I. Sutton, who has written on submarine warfare, said that where the alleged blasts occurred, the water was at a relatively shallow depth. Divers or unmanned vehicles could have easily accessed it, he wrote.

“The leak is near the Danish island of Bornholm, at 54.8762°, 15.4099° in [approximately] 70 meters of water,” he wrote on Twitter. “This would be divable 2 things do make it suspicious: a) It is just over 12 nautical miles from the Island in International waters b) the [exclusive economic zone] here is disputed here.”

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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