In a press briefing on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned Sweden’s refusal to cooperate with Russian authorities in investigating the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines in September 2022, accusing Stockholm of a coverup.
“Officials in Stockholm have explained this by claiming that granting our request would have posed a threat to their country’s security,” Zakharova stated. “It is amazing. Do you, our colleagues in Stockholm, regard the explosions on the gas pipelines as a threat to Sweden? If you do, we would like to conduct an investigation based on international law, which would identify who, in reality, is posing a threat to Sweden and [other] Baltic Sea countries and do it in such a way as to preclude incidents like this from taking place in the future. We regard ourselves as a party that has suffered considerable losses. It is not even about losses. But what has been done to the infrastructure that took the parties to the project, including Russia, many years to build amounts to immense damage. We have the right to receive relevant information and ask questions, and you must answer them.”
She chided the authorities in Stockholm for refusing to establish a joint investigative team to find out who was responsible for the sabotage. “How does Sweden explain its lack of interest in conducting a normal and comprehensive investigation jointly with Russia as a country that has suffered losses? Nor did Russia receive a reply – in violation of international diplomatic etiquette – to the message that Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin sent to the Swedish head of government three months ago, where he points to the need to conduct a comprehensive and transparent investigation of the incident in question with the participation of representatives of the Russian authorities and Gazprom officials,” Zakharova declared.
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The refusal of Sweden and other nations involved in the investigation to work with Russia to find out who was responsible for the attacks led Zakharova to ask, “Why do they not allow us to join in the investigation? Are they hiding something? No one has any doubt today that the pipelines were damaged through an act of sabotage or a terrorist act – these details are to be clarified as, clearly, it was not an accident. What “threats to national security” is Stockholm talking about? What’s at issue is the threat that Russian experts might draw inconvenient conclusions during an unbiased investigation and, at last, alert the public to the unseemly truth about the perpetrators of these acts of sabotage or terrorist acts? Who is behind them? Who masterminded and carried them out? The suppression of the facts is irrefutable evidence that the Swedish authorities are clearly hiding something.”
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