MOSCOW: Russia said on Saturday that it would raise the Nord Stream pipeline blasts and an alleged drone attack in Crimea, both incidents in which Moscow has alleged British involvement, at the UN Security Council.
“The Russian side intends to draw the attention of the international community, in particular through the UN Security Council, to the series of terrorist attacks against Russia in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, including the involvement of Great Britain,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram.
Russia’s defence ministry said earlier that British navy personnel blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month, a claim that London said was false and designed to distract from Russian military failures in Ukraine.
Russia did not give evidence for its claim that a leading Nato member had sabotaged critical Russian infrastructure amid the worst crisis in relations between the West and Russia since the depths of the Cold War.
The Russian ministry said that “British specialists” from the same unit directed ‘massive’ Ukrainian drone attacks on ships of Russian Black Sea fleet in Crimea earlier on Saturday that it said were largely repelled by Russian forces, with minor damage to a Russian minesweeper.
“According to available information, representatives of this unit of the British Navy took part in the planning, provision and implementation of a terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea on September 26 this year - blowing up the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines,” the ministry said. Britain denied the claim.
Four leaks caused by explosions
“This invented story, says more about arguments going on inside the Russian government than it does about the West,” the British defence ministry said.
Sweden and Denmark have both concluded that four leaks on Nord Stream 1 and 2 were caused by explosions, but have not said who might be responsible. Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called the damage an act of sabotage.
Sweden has ordered additional investigations to be carried out into the damage done to the pipelines, the prosecutor in charge of the case said in a statement on Friday.
The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines have a joint annual capacity of 110 billion cubic metres - more than half of Russia’s normal gas exports volumes.
Russia said meanwhile that Ukrainian forces attacked ships from the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, the biggest city in Russian-annexed Crimea, in the early hours of Saturday.
“Nine unmanned aerial vehicles and seven autonomous marine drones were involved in the attack,” the defence ministry said.
“The preparation of this terrorist act and the training of servicemen of the Ukrainian 73rd Special Center for Naval Operations were carried out under the guidance of British specialists located in the town of Ochakiv.” All the air drones were destroyed though minor damage was done to the minesweeper Ivan Golubets, the ministry said.
Sevastopol is the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.