Putin claims pipeline leaks linked to ‘international terrorism’

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday in a call that leaks in the Nord Stream pipelines linking Russia to Europe were “international terrorism.”

Russia’s president gave his “assessment of the unprecedented sabotage, in fact, of the act of international terrorism, against the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines,” according to a readout of a call from the Kremlin.

A ship works offshore in the Baltic Sea on the natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 from Russia to Germany, on November 11, 2018. (Bernd Wuestneck/dpa via AP, File)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier claimed that the Nord Stream pipeline accidents would have been impossible without a government’s involvement.

“It looks like a terror attack, probably conducted on a state level,” Peskov told reporters. “It’s a very dangerous situation that requires a quick investigation.”

He dismissed media reports about Russian warships detected in the area as “stupid and biased,” claiming that many more NATO aircraft and ships “have been spotted” there.

European officials have noted that Russia benefits from higher gas prices when supplies to Europe are disrupted.

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