Pentagon official insists U.S. was ‘absolutely not involved’ in rupture of Russian Nord Stream pipeline system

The Nord Stream pipeline system, which supplies Russian natural gas to much of Europe, was taken offline recently after it suffered mysterious ruptures and began leaking near Denmark under the Baltic Sea.

Accusatory fingers have been pointed back and forth about who is responsible for what occurred, and a senior U.S. military official just adamantly insisted that the U.S. was “absolutely not involved” in whatever happened with the pipeline, the Washington Examiner reported.

That denial comes amid accusations and insinuations from Russia and others that the U.S. did indeed play some sort of role in taking the crucial pipeline system offline.

Pentagon says the U.S. “absolutely not involved” in the Russian pipeline rupture

During a background briefing at the Pentagon on Wednesday, as part of the opening remarks, an unnamed senior military official raised the issue of the Nord Stream pipeline leaks in the Baltic Sea and said, “As is the case with the rest of the global community we continue to monitor the situation and the circumstances. I think we’re as perplexed as anyone else and would — are very interested in knowing how this came about, whether it’s an accident or otherwise.”

That official was immediately asked by a reporter if there was any apparent evidence of “sabotage” and whether the Russians might be responsible for attacking their own pipeline system, but the official replied that “the jury is still out” on exactly what happened, though the general consensus was that it was believed to be an act of “sabotage.”

The next reporter asked a series of specific questions that the official was unable to answer, but then asked directly, “Can you rule out that the U.S. was involved?”

“Yeah. Absolutely not involved,” the unnamed senior military official replied.

At the end of the briefing, a reporter asked if the U.S. military was participating in an investigation of the pipeline ruptures, given the military’s capabilities, but the senior military official said the U.S. hadn’t “been asked to do so,” though an unnamed senior Defense official at the briefing added that Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin had offered any assistance and support that might be necessary to his Danish counterpart.

Russia blames the U.S.; EU calls pipeline rupture a “deliberate act”

For what it is worth, Russian-controlled media outlet TASS reported Wednesday that Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had pointed to prior statements and threats against the Nord Stream pipeline system by President Joe Biden and others and insinuated the U.S. had made good on those threats to take the system offline.

Meanwhile, the European Union appears to be convinced that what happened to the pipeline it heavily relies upon for its energy needs was a “deliberate act” of sabotage and not merely a “coincidence.”

“The European Union is deeply concerned about damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that has resulted in leaks in the international waters of the Baltic Sea,” the EU Council said in a statement on Wednesday. “Safety and environmental concerns are of utmost priority. These incidents are not a coincidence and affect us all.”

“All available information indicates those leaks are the result of a deliberate act. We will support any investigation aimed at getting full clarity on what happened and why, and will take further steps to increase our resilience in energy security,” the Council added. “Any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and will be met with a robust and united response.”

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