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Russia Says Ukraine Organized Gas Pipeline Attack In Crimea

Russia accused on Tuesday Ukraine’s military intelligence of having organized an attack on a natural gas pipeline in Crimea at the end of last month, in another escalation of tensions between Moscow and Kyiv.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine back in 2014, straining the bilateral relations between one of Europe’s key natural gas suppliers, Russia, and one of the key transit countries for the gas, Ukraine.

The annexation of Crimea was criticized by the United States and the European Union (EU), both of which imposed sanctions on Russia over the 2014 act. The U.S. sanctions include sanctions on parts of the oil and gas industry in Russia. Those sanctions ban the provision of services or technology in support of exploration or production for deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects.

Today, the Russian Federal Security Service, FSB, said in a statement that sabotage on a gas pipeline on August 23 in Crimea was found to have been organized by the military intelligence unit of Ukraine’s ministry of defense and the Mejlis Crimean Tatars organization, which is banned in Russia.

Many Crimean Tatars oppose Russia’s annexation of Crimea. 

According to Russia’s FSB, the Ukrainian military intelligence promised the perpetrators a payment of $2,000 to sabotage the gas pipeline in Crimea.

“Ukraine’s military intelligence promised to pay them about $2,000 for the subversive attack. An explosive device was secretly brought to Crimea in July. The attack was planned for Ukraine’s Independence Day,” the Russian security service said in its statement.

Suspects have been detained over the sabotage, and some have made confessions, Russian news agency TASS reports.

“We were asked to blow up a gas pipeline in Perevalnoye, they showed us the explosive device and told us what to do with it,” one of the detained people was quoted as saying about meeting a man in Ukraine before the sabotage.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on September 07 2021 said:
    Ukraine is playing with fire. In the short term it could risk a cancellation by Russia of the 5-year transit agreement signed in December 2020 under which Russia will continue supplying gas to the EU via Ukrainian territory thus earning Ukraine transit fees on which Ukraine’s economy depends.

    And with the completion of Nord Stream 2 Russia will be in a position to do exactly that. And if the EU tries to impose sanctions on Russia, President Putin will halt all Russian gas supplies to the EU and send them instead to China.

    So Angela Merkel the German Chancellor who has been championing a continued Russian gas supplies to the EU via Ukraine should whisper a word or two in the ears of Ukrainian leaders not to provoke President Putin with such silly actions.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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