Russia Says Nord Stream Likely Hit by State-Backed ‘Terrorism’
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Russia Says Nord Stream Likely Hit by State-Backed ‘Terrorism’

Russia said on Thursday that leaks spewing gas into the Baltic Sea from pipelines to Germany appeared to be the result of state-sponsored “terrorism”, as an EU official said the incident had fundamentally changed the nature of the conflict in Ukraine.

The European Union is investigating the cause of the leaks in the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines and has said it suspects sabotage was behind the damage off the coasts of Denmark and Sweden.

Four days after the leaks were first spotted, it remains unclear who might be behind any attack on the pipelines that Russia and European partners spent billions of dollars building.

“This looks like an act of terrorism, possibly on a state level,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding: “It is very difficult to imagine that such an act of a terrorism could have happened without the involvement of a state of some kind”.

Russia also said the United States stood to benefit, in a war of words with the West over who was responsible. Moscow has previously said the leaks occurred in territory that is “fully under the control” of U.S. intelligence agencies.

The European Union on Wednesday warned of a “robust and united response” should there be more attacks and stressed the need to protect its energy infrastructure, but EU officials have avoided pointing a figure directly at possible perpetrators.

Next week, EU leaders will discuss an eighth sanctions package on Russia which European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has proposed, including tighter trade restrictions, more blacklistings and an oil price cap for third countries.

The EU official said he expected the 27-nation bloc to agree parts of the sanctions package before the summit, such as the blacklisting of additional individuals and some of the trade restrictions with regard to steel and technology.

Other topics such as the oil price cap or the sanctioning of banks may not be solved before the summit, he added.

EU states need unanimity to impose sanctions and Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban has been a vocal critic, saying sanctions have “backfired”, driving up energy prices and dealing a blow to European economies.

Police have recovered three bodies after a shootout between “two groups of pirates” at Ghasiar Char in Noakhali’s island Upazila Hatia.

The dead were identified as Md Kabir, Md Shahraz and Nabir Uddin, aka Nurnabi, members of a group led by Fakhrul Islam and all of them were from Ghasiar Char, said Hatia police chief Amir Hossain on Thursday.

The members of pirate groups led by Fakhrul and Khokan had been engaged in a shootout from the early hours of Thursday to 9am, Amir said.

The bodies were recovered and sent to the hospital in the evening, the police officer added.

Several others injured in the incident were treated locally.

Shafiul Kinjal, a spokesperson for Hatia coastguard station, said the groups led by Fakhrul and Khokan were in conflict over the control of the shoal.

After Khokan’s arrest, Fakhrul’s group took control of the shoal. Following his release, Khokan and members of his group attempted to take back control of the shoal, which led to the gunfight, said Shafiul.

The coast guard and police detained five members of Khokan’s group and seized weapons from them, including three single-barrel shotguns, two rounds of bullet, several sharp items and rods.

Amir said legal steps were being taken over the incident.



from #Momusicdate

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