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Latest Nord Stream theory 'fake, dumb, improbable': Swedish expert

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-03-13 09:37

STOCKHOLM -- A Swedish expert rebutted the claim made by U.S. and German media that a non-state actor was responsible for last September's Nord Stream gas pipeline explosions.

On Tuesday, the New York Times has cited new intelligence suggesting that a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines. However, the paper failed to identify a source for the claim that a rented yacht was used to perpetrate the act.

"How stupid do they think we are? A small pro-Ukrainian group in a yacht did what?" questioned Jan Oberg, director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, in a recent opinion article on his personal portal.

"Western 'intelligence' and the New York Times (are) in deeper waters than usual, offering us a devious spin and fake story," said Oberg, adding that he did not "hesitate to call (the claimed theory) fake and invention and simply so dumb, improbable and unlikely."

He said that the "orchestrated mainstream Western media" having kept silent on Seymour Hersh's earlier analysis but now reporting widely on the obvious "fake" theory revealed "their journalistic and moral decay."

In an article published in February on the U.S. portal Substack, an investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh revealed that the United States partnered with Norway in a top-secret operation in June 2022 to plant remotely triggered explosives that took out three of the four Nord Stream pipelines three months later.

Compared with Hersh's detailed and convincing revelation, Oberg dismissed the latest theory as "an invented story that comes with much less documentation, analysis and credibility than Hersh's."

Calling Hersh "truly independent, highly qualified, and well-connected," Oberg strongly insisted that the sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines "was done by the U.S. with some help from Norway and perhaps others."

Referring to comments by U.S. President Joe Biden earlier "that the U.S. would blow it up," Oberg said an "interest analysis" would also lead to an obvious conclusion of U.S. criminality.

"Who could have an interest in destroying this hugely important piece of energy infrastructure which also connected Europe to Russia? And who would have the technical and other capacities to do it?" Oberg asked.

The Nord Stream pipelines, which transported natural gas from Russia to European markets via Germany, were severely damaged last September after blasts in the Baltic Sea. One pipeline, Nord Stream 1, was in operation at the time of the explosion and Nord Stream 2, though had not been operational, was filled with gas.

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