Kyiv knew nothing about a plan to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipelines, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday amid growing speculation that Ukraine was behind the blast.
As president he has the power to give orders, Zelensky said in an interview with Germany’s Bild daily.
“I did nothing like that. I would never do that,” he said, according to a German interpreter.
“I believe that our army and our intelligence services did nothing like that,” he said, adding that he would “like to see proof”.
“We know nothing about it, one hundred percent,” he said.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that a European spy agency told the CIA it knew of a Ukraine special operations team plan to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
The tip-off came three months before explosions damaged the undersea system last year, the report said.
The newspaper cited US intelligence allegedly leaked earlier this year by a low-level US Air National Guard computer technician who had access to large amounts of highly classified materials.
The leaked documents indicated that an unnamed European intelligence body told the US spy agency in June 2022, four months after Russia invaded Ukraine, that Ukraine military divers reporting directly to the country’s military commander-in-chief were planning the attack.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, built to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany, were rocked by underwater explosions on September 26, rendering them useless and cutting off a potential source of billions of dollars in earnings for Russia.
The apparent sabotage sparked a region-wide emergency as it cut off crucial supplies of energy for Europe just as the war had sent the price of oil skyrocketing.
Accusations were made against several countries including Russia, the United States and Ukraine, but all denied responsibility.