/ Go to the mediabankNord Stream 2 / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaExclusiveRussia has no reason not to believe the findings presented by such an honest investigator as Seymour Hersh regarding US involvement in the Nord Stream sabotage last September, Dmitry Polyanskiy told Sputnik, underscoring that “new intelligence reviewed by unnamed US officials” only confirms the necessity of conducting an international probe.A world where the perpetrators of blowing up such infrastructure projects as Nord Stream would not be held to account would be a very dangerous place for everyone to live, First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy told Sputnik Radio host Jamarl Thomas during the latest episode of Fault Lines.On September 26, 2022, underwater blasts targeted three of the four strings of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 underwater pipelines, built to carry a combined 110 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Europe annually. The incident halted gas deliveries to Germany ahead of the cold season, prompting a gas price hike. Germany, Denmark, and Sweden launched separate investigations into the blasts. Russia, however, was not granted access to their probes. Last month, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh wrote an article unabashedly pointing the finger at the United States and Norway as the main perpetrators of the blasts, with US authorities denying the claims and mainstream media discarding the evidence. Furthermore, on March 7, US media reports eagerly started to push “new intelligence reviewed by unnamed US officials” suggesting that a pro-Ukrainian group had carried out the attack on the pipeline so vital for European security and the continent’s energy interests.
"Let's try to consider what kind of world we are heading to if there is no accountability for just blowing up such vital infrastructure, international projects, which are not only in Russia's property, you know, but also in German property….So it's such a blatant, I would say, way that the US authorities were speaking about such a scenario. It's also astounding because, well it is not only a smoking gun, it's more than a smoking gun that they were giving to us from February last year," Dmitry Polyanskiy said.
The ambassador was referring to how top US officials – including US President Joe Biden – repeatedly threatened to sabotage the pipeline in the event that Russian troops engaged Ukrainian forces, as Hersh repeatedly underscored in his bombshell article. Furthermore, as Hersh noted in his story, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland warned in January: “if Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”Nord Stream SabotageLavrov Says UN Chief Avoiding Giving Any Reaction on Nord Stream Pipelines Blasts12:59 GMT
"And we had this meeting of the Security Council, and we pointed out that any judge or any attorney would refuse to organize defense of such individuals if they are saying such things and making such confessions about their implication in this act of sabotage. And, of course, any jury would make a clear verdict of who is to blame," Polyanskiy added.
The investigative report published in February by Seymour Hersh revealed that US Navy divers had planted explosives to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines during NATO’s BALTOPS exercises in the summer of 2022. Norway activated the bombs three months later at the order of US President Joe Biden, the journalist wrote, citing insiders.
"As for Seymour Hersh's investigation, we really don't have any reasons not to believe him because of his reputation. This man is known for being an integral and honest investigator. And that's why we raised awareness of our colleagues in the Security Council for these new facts, trying to convince them that we need to have a fair and inclusive international investigation. There is a draft resolution presented by us that is being discussed now at the expert level proposing this kind of investigation to be conducted under the auspices of the UN. And our Western colleagues are resisting very much discussing this draft, claiming that the current national investigations by Denmark, Sweden, and Germany are quite enough. But the fact is that we are not being informed, contrary to what these countries claim, about the course of these investigations, and they can't be claimed to be transparent and open to us as a party that is concerned in this regard," the Russian UN ambassador emphasized.
Nord Stream SabotageBlame Game: US Intel Tells NYT ‘Pro-Ukrainian Group’ Behind Nord Stream Bombing7 March, 17:17 GMTShortly after Hersh’s story, The New York Times reported on March 7, citing US officials, that new intelligence suggested the involvement of a certain “pro-Ukrainian group” in the Nord Stream sabotage. At the same time, the US officials reportedly said there was no proof of the Kiev regime’s leadership being involved in the operation. Furthermore, a UK media outlet said that Western intelligence agencies investigating the blasts were looking into the possible involvement of a prominent Ukrainian businessman in the attack. However, this was denounced by the Kremlin as an inherent part of the coordinated spread of disinformation and an attempt to divert attention from the real perpetrators.
"As for the information that was published by The New York Times, I heard some accounts about this. I think it only confirms the necessity of conducting an international investigation. On other occasions, I think our Western partners are queuing up, calling for international investigations on much more minor situations. And when it comes to the sabotage on Nord Stream to which US authorities have already de facto confessed several times, they are pursuing a different logic that we don't need an international investigation. Of course, they don't need it, because the results of any such open and really transparent international investigation are quite obvious for everyone. Again, I don't think that we need a world where the perpetrators [would not be held] to account, and such infrastructure projects would be threatened and blown up. This is a very dangerous place for all of us to live," the ambassador said.
Nord Stream SabotageKremlin: Russia Insists on Transparent Probe Into Nord Stream Terror Attack Amid ‘Media Leaks’09:43 GMTIn the interview, Polyanskiy also weighed in on Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, launched on February 24, 2022.
"Today it's more and more clear for more and more people in the world, why we had no other choice but to start our special military operation a year ago. We did it first and foremost to put an end to this war in Donbass, which the Kiev regime has been waging against the civilian population there since 2014," Dmitry Polyanskiy said.
The Russian official pointed out that since the launch of the operation, its goals have not changed, which include the cessation of shelling the civilian population of Donbass, along with the task of demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine.
"We also wanted and continue to want to eliminate all kinds of threats that are coming from Ukraine to Russia. We want our neighbor to be peaceful and neighborly and ready for constructive relations, and not an anti-Russia, as the current Ukraine is being formed by its Western suzerains… We repeatedly said that we prefer to achieve all these tasks at the table of negotiations and we were ready for this in March and April last year. So the Ukrainian regime itself withdrew its own proposals that were forming a good framework for future negotiations… So far, everything that we hear from Kiev and its Western sponsors are nothing but ultimatums towards Russia. And that's why we have to continue our special military operation and to seek the achievements of its goals through military means," Ambassador Polyanskiy underscored.
He pointed out that Western countries used the Minsk agreements as “a smokescreen for arming Ukraine, for preparing its army for war with Russia, which is now happening, the proxy war of NATO against Russia in Ukraine.””So we had to formulate this task. De-Nazification, I think, is also absolutely clear because throughout these several years from 2014, the Ukrainian regime has become absolutely inseparate from nationalist groups. Some of them are Nazi groups, some of them are radical nationalist groups which declare the total elimination of everything Russian in Ukraine, which are behind all the policy measures that discriminate the Russian speaking population, that are behind the measures that glorify collaborators of Hitler and those who committed terrible crimes in Ukraine during the Second World War. So all these people are now in power or very close to power. And of course, it is absolutely out of the question that we could coexist with such a neighbor, with such a hornet’s nest that was created after the illegal anti-constitutional Maidan coup in 2014.”Polyanskiy stressed that the sweeping sanctions campaign that was unleashed by the West against Russia, seeking to “cripple” its economy, has had a boomerang effect, hitting those who conceived it in the first place hard.
"Life in Russia is normal, goods are in abundance… There is no food crisis, there is no energy crisis. The prices are not going up to the scale that we see here in the [United] States, for example, or in Europe. This is because we have been sanctioned actually from 2014 and we have made special efforts to reorient our economy, first of all, to be self-sustainable and self-reliable," he emphasized.
He added that Russia has made great efforts to diversify its economic ties, and to develop closer ties with China, India, and other countries in Asia and Africa. “This process is ongoing and this process is very successful, as you would see from the figures of the Russian economy. I would absolutely agree with those who say that the ones who will suffer would be, first and foremost Europeans and Americans. Europe is now deprived of cheap Russian energy… Now they have to rely on liquefied natural gas coming from the US and from other regions of the world. And there are very important specifics of these markets and possible price hikes which are unpredictable… So the world is changing. Our economy is adapting. This process is ongoing. We have more and more ties with the countries that are friendly to us, that are neighbors, and that are not pursuing any political goals towards Russia. And I think that this process is very positive to my country. This is not our choice. And we will not self-isolate. We will just remain friends with those who want to remain friends with us. And I think it’s a mutually advantageous process.”RussiaAntonov Says Russian Economy Persevered One Year Into Sanctions War03:49 GMTListen to more of Dmitry Polyanskiy’s conversation with Jamarl Thomas here.