Former president Donald Trump said Russia didn’t blow up the Nord Stream pipelines last year and hinted that the US might be involved in the incident.
“I don’t want to get our country in trouble, so I won’t answer it,” the one-time president told Fox News host Tucker Carlson when asked about the pipeline blasts.
“But I can tell you who it wasn’t – Russia. It wasn’t Russia.”
Mr Trump added: “How about when they blamed Russia. You know they said ‘Russia blew up their own pipeline’. You got a kick out of that one too.”
“It wasn’t Russia,” the former president reiterated.
The major Baltic Sea supply route from Russia to Europe, running 1,230km (764 miles), was severely damaged in “powerful explosions” on 26 September last year. The blasts caused severe damage to Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, rendering the underwater routes for energy trade inoperable.
The explosions were measured at 2.3 and 2.1 on the Richter scale, Swedish and Danish authorities confirmed.
Moscow has repeatedly claimed that allegations it was behind the blasts are “stupid”, and has sought to blame the West, including the US and Britain.
“US ‘leadership’ should remain ‘cool, calm, and dry’ on the SABOTAGE of the Nord Stream Pipelines. This is a big event that should not entail a big solution, at least not yet. The Russia/Ukraine catastrophe should NEVER have happened, and would definitely not have happened if I were President,” Mr Trump warned in a post on Truth Social.
“Do not make matters worse with the pipeline blowup. Be strategic, be smart (brilliant!), get a negotiated deal done NOW. Both sides need and want it. The entire World is at stake,” he added, while offering to head the group.
Last month, the Kremlin accused the United Nations of “whitewashing” the sabotage of the pipelines after Russia’s demand for an investigation were rejected at the platform.
Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said everyone should be interested in an impartial investigation in order to find the culprits of the explosions of the Nord Stream pipelines.
“Western countries are making every effort to ‘whitewash’ … this topic, to paper it over, so that it disappears from the agenda,” he told reporters.
His comments came after the UN Security Council members voted to reject a Russia-backed resolution to demand a UN-led investigation into the blowing up of the pipelines.
Russia, China, and Brazil voted in favor of the resolution, while the remaining 12 council members abstained.