The name of the Ukrainian suspect behind the sabotage “has been circulating in intelligence circles for months,” the medium says.
Western intelligence agencies determined almost immediately that last year’s Nord Stream explosions had been orchestrated by someone linked to Ukraine, but chose to withhold that information to avoid a diplomatic row between Kiev and Berlin, The Times reported on Wednesday.
According to the medium, a Scandinavian delegation learned a week after the September 2022 attack on gas pipelines, which connect Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, that it was organized “by a private company originating in Ukraine.” They reportedly received this information at an intelligence briefing in Brussels.
“The name of the suspected private sponsor [of the attack]… has been circulating in intelligence circles for months, but has not been disclosed,” the report said.
Without releasing a name, The Times identified the culprit as a Ukrainian not affiliated with the government in Kiev. He also alleged that the suspect “appears to have left a peculiar business card,” without elaborating.
Russia reacts to new Nord Stream claims
The delegation was also told to deflect any questions as to why the investigation into the matter was progressing at such a slow pace.
The outlet suggested that NATO officials apparently wanted to “protect Ukraine from a public dispute with Germany.” At the time of the incident, Berlin was reluctant to supply Kiev with Leopard 2 tanks without allied support. Germany changed its mind in January 2023, with several other Western nations also pledging to deliver tanks.
The report comes after The New York Times claimed on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, that a “pro-Ukrainian group” may have been behind the attack on the pipelines. On the same day, German media claimed that investigators probing the incident had found that the yacht used in the attack belonged to a Poland-based company owned by two Ukrainians.
Commenting on these reports, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said the allegations appear to be “a coordinated campaign of media deception” and an attempt to divert attention from the real culprits.
Last month, prominent American journalist Seymour Hersh published an investigation that blamed Washington for orchestrating the Nord Stream attacks. Although the White House has denied any responsibility, in January US Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland suggested that Washington should be “very pleased to know” that Nord Stream 2 is no longer operational