Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of being responsible for the attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. Speaking at the Russian Energy Week, Putin claimed Washington carried out the attack in order to cut off Europe's access to cheap energy and sell its gas at higher prices.
“As they say, “highly likely”… I mean, we understand who’s behind this,” he said, adding that the pipelines may be repaired but only if they will certainly be used in the future.
Moreover, Putin said that Russia was ready to sell more gas to Europe in the wintertime using the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which remained intact.
“If we agree with Europe upon supplying our gas using the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, you see, one of the pipes seems to have remained intact… Unfortunately, they do not let our experts examine the site. So, Russia is ready to launch supply, but the EU has the ball now. If they want it, all they need to do is to open the valve,” he said.
Putin also suggested that the amount of gas the Nord Stream used to transfer be redirected into the Black Sea. He believes that a large gas hub may be set up there used to supply Europe with gas. Putin also criticised the EU's decision to cap the oil price and noted that Russia would not supply countries that support this idea with oil and gas.
On 26 September, gas leaks were reported on two strings of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in the exclusive economic zone of Denmark to the northeast of the island of Bornholm. Later, another leak was documented on one of the strings of Nord Stream 2 in Denmark’s exclusive economic zone to the southeast of Bornholm.
The pipes may have been damaged in a deliberate attack, German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported the following day, citing a source familiar with the investigation.