December 1, 2022

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NATO chief: ‘All evidence’ points to pipeline sabotage, avoids questioning Ukraine’s membership

A senior NATO official confirmed that the organization believes that a large German oil and gas pipeline has been damaged Damage due to vandalismAnd any attack on NATO infrastructure will be met with a “firm” and “unified” response.

“All evidence suggests once again that this is intentional sabotage by someone against these pipelines,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “The important thing now is that we support the ongoing investigation so that we get the best possible picture of what happened and can establish all the facts.”

He added that “a deliberate attack on critical NATO infrastructure would be met with Resolute and united response from NATO,” he added.

Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipeline systems, which carry oil and gas from Russia to Germany, were hit by unprecedented leaks last week. Three leaks recorded on the same day sparked accusations of sabotage, which Moscow officials have acknowledged may have occurred.

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Danish officials said the Nord Stream 1 leak has stopped.

NATO Minister Jens Stoltenberg received questions from journalists on Friday, March 4, 2022.
(NATO)

“We cannot imagine a scenario that is not a targeted attack. Everything speaks against chance,” a German government official told German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel.

Nord Stream 1 was completely shut down in August when officials insisted that sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine made it impossible to maintain and repair the system. Nord Stream 2 is not officially launched.

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It was the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the summer warn their counterparts in Berlin for a possible attack on the pipeline.

Stoltenberg rejected the suggestions that Russia was trying to drag NATO In the Ukraine war, stressing that NATO “is not part of this conflict”.

  The receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline stands on July 11, 2022, near Lubmin, Germany.

The receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline stands on July 11, 2022, near Lubmin, Germany.
(Shawn Gallup/Getty Images)

“[Putin] He repeatedly tried to tell the story that NATO was a party to the conflict and that NATO caused that conflict, Stoltenberg explained, “that is absolutely wrong.”

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He continued, “First, this is a war that President Putin started. It is a war of his choice. Second, NATO is not part of this conflict.” “What we are doing is that we are providing support to Ukraine, which is an independent, sovereign country in Europe that has the right to defend itself against any war of aggression.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will meet Thursday with Senators Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, and Lindsey Graham, Republika Srpska, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will meet Thursday with Senators Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, and Lindsey Graham, Republika Srpska, in Kyiv, Ukraine.
(Office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky)

But Stoltenberg did not comment directly on the possibility of accelerating Ukraine’s membership in the organization. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that his government had done so “Expedited” its application After proving that he is a “compatible” partner.

Stoltenberg said any decision on membership “must be taken unanimously” and that the organization’s “top priority” is to support Ukraine.

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They need more support today“They need ongoing support,” Stoltenberg said. “That’s the message I gave the presidents, and when I spoke to him a few days ago, that’s the message from NATO leaders.”

Anders Hagstrom and Caitlin McFaul of Fox News contributed to this report.