Brussels kept the data secret over concerns it could damage the Western alliance with Kiev, sources told the newspaper De Tijd FILE PHOTO: Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) Neptune is pictured behind a container painted with a map showing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline/ © AFP / John MacDougall
The CIA notified its Belgian equivalent, the ADIV, about Ukraine’s possible involvement in the sabotage of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines shortly the incident occurred last September, well-informed sources have told the newspaper De Tijd.
The data on the undersea explosions, which crippled a key component of Europe’s energy infrastructure, was provided on a strictly confidential basis by US foreign intelligence, the Belgian outlet wrote in its report on Saturday.
The people who spoke to the paper noted that the CIA did not reveal where it obtained the information pointing to Kiev’s responsibility, citing the need to protect their sources.
Brussels has refrained from publicly speaking about Ukraine’s alleged role in the sabotage, over concerns that it could cause “high tensions” in the Western alliance with Ukraine while the conflict with Russia continues, according to De Tijd.
This story “illustrates how Western intelligence services, including the Belgian ones, have known for months that Ukraine probably has a hand in one of the most brutal and dangerous attacks on Europe’s energy infrastructure,” the paper wrote.
When asked by De Tijd about the issue, the spokesman for Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder said: “we do not comment on the work of our intelligence service and the contacts that our intelligence service have with partner services.”
Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that US intelligence had known for months that Ukrainian state operatives planned to destroy the Nord Stream gas pipelines, built to deliver Russian gas to Europe via Germany.
In March, some Western media outlets claimed that a “pro-Ukrainian group” blew up the pipelines, using a rented yacht to transport explosives to the blast location in the Baltic Sea.
Russia has dismissed those reports as an attempt to distract the public from a bombshell article by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, who insisted in February that US President Joe Biden was the one who gave the order to destroy Nord Stream.
According to an informed source who talked to the veteran journalist, the explosives that were detonated last September had been planted on the pipelines in June 2022 by US Navy divers under the cover of a NATO exercise.
US National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson denied Hersh’s report, calling it “utterly false and complete fiction.” (RT)