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Russia could demand compensation for damages over the sabotaged Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, a senior Russian diplomat told Russian news agency RIA Novosti in an interview.
“We do not rule out raising the issue of compensation for damages as a result of the explosion of the Nord Stream gas pipelines,” Dmitry Birichevsky, Head of the Economic Cooperation Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying.
The official did not specify with whom Russia would seek compensation.
Russia will continue to insist on an investigation into the blasts that involves Russian representatives, Birichevsky said, adding that the “Western countries are actively sabotaging work” on a Russia-proposed draft UN resolution calling for an independent investigation.
The Nord Stream pipelines were sabotaged in late September in still unexplained circumstances. Nord Stream 1 was carrying gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, while Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation after Germany axed the certification process following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia, for its part, shut down Nord Stream 1 indefinitely in early September, claiming an inability to repair gas turbines because of the Western sanctions.
Various investigations into the Nord Stream explosions continue amid accusations from Russia that some Western intelligence services are “hiding something.”
Sweden’s refusal to share information about the sabotage of Nord Stream is “puzzling,” and withholding the results of the investigation means that “Swedish authorities are hiding something,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in January.
Last month, Russia called for an international investigation into the sabotage of Nord Stream after a U.S. investigative journalist wrote that the United States was behind the explosions of the gas pipelines.
Russia does not expect that findings on the Nord Stream blast investigations will be made public, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.
Circumstantial evidence points the finger at the United States which has a motive, economic benefit and strategic objective. These three descriptions fit the US like a hand in a glove.
But for seeking compensation, Russia needs to establish beyond any doubt who the culprit is. This could prove difficult particularly with Western countries actively hampering work on a proposed Russian draft resolution submitted to the UN Security Council in February calling for an independent investigation.
Additionally, Sweden, Germany and Denmark who investigated the sabotage are refusing to share their findings with Russia which means they are hiding something. They may be even destroying the evidence.
If Russia gets no satisfaction, it may be tempted to take the law into its own hands.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Global Energy Expert