Sept 30 (Reuters) - The Russian ambassador to the United
Nations on Friday told the Security Council that the U.S. has
much to gain in gas trade from damage to the Nord Stream
pipeline system under the Baltic Sea but stopped short of
blaming Washington for this week's explosions.
A council meeting convened at Russia's request addressed
leaks discovered on Tuesday on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines
on which Russian-controlled Gazprom and its European
partners spent billions of dollars.
A main question about the blasts was whether the United
States could gain from the destruction of the pipelines,
ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said. "The answer is undoubtedly."
"American liquefied natural gas suppliers should be
celebrating the manifold increase in LNG supplies to Europe,"
Earlier on Friday Russian President Vladimir Putin said the
United States and its allies blew up Nord Stream. "The sanctions
were not enough for the Anglo-Saxons: they moved onto sabotage,"
he said. The United States and other countries have imposed
several rounds of sanctions against Russia since Putin sent his
forces to invade Ukraine in late February.
The White House has dismissed the accusation it was
"Let me be clear, the United States categorically denies any
involvement in this incident and we reject an assertion saying
the contrary," Richard Mills, the U.S. deputy representative to
the United Nations, said at the meeting.
Mills added that the United States has boosted LNG exports
in recent years because Russia has long not been a reliable
supplier of energy to Europe. Russia has in years past cut off
gas supplies to Eastern Europe in winter during gas pricing
Russia, which slashed gas deliveries to Europe in response
to the sanctions, has also said sabotage was a possibility and
said accusations by some that it perpetrated the damage were
The leaks have raised concerns about the safety of other
energy systems in Europe and investigations about who was to
U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and NATO
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday discussed
protection of critical infrastructure "in the wake of the
apparent sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic
Sea," the White House said.
Analysts say it is possible the damage was inflicted by
devices that are available on the commercial market but that
given the scale and precision, it was more likely carried out by
an actor with access to more sophisticated technology.
The magnitude of the explosions probably corresponded to an
explosive load of several hundred kilos, the permanent missions
to the U.N. of Denmark and Sweden said in a letter dated
Thursday to the French U.N. Mission, which holds the presidency
of the 15-member council for September.
The ruptures also represent a risk to the climate. The
pipeline leaks may mark the biggest single release of methane, a
powerful greenhouse gas, recorded, the UN Environment Programme
Sergei Kupriyanov, a Gazprom spokesperson, told the council
meeting that 800 million cubic meters of natural gas had
escaped. The volume of escaped gas was equivalent to three
months' supply for Denmark, he said.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, once the main route for Russian
gas to Germany, was already shut but cannot now be easily
reopened. The new Nord Stream 2 pipeline had yet to enter
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Simon Lewis; editing by Grant