MOSCOW: US President Joe Biden is "obliged" to answer if Washington is behind three reported gas leaks on the Nord Stream pipelines from Russia to Europe, Moscow’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
"On February 7, 2022, Joe Biden said that Nord Stream would be finished if Russia invaded Ukraine," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on social media, posting a video of Biden saying "we will bring an end" to Nord Stream 2 if Russian tanks cross Ukraine’s border.
"Biden is obliged to answer the question of whether the US carried out its threat," Zakharova added. "A statement of intent was backed by a promise. We must be responsible for our words... Europe must know the truth," Zakharova said.
Three unexplained gas leaks, preceded by two explosions, occurred on the Baltic Sea’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines on Monday. Built in parallel to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Nord Stream 2 was intended to double the capacity for Russian gas imports to Germany, deemed a "deliberate act" by the EU.
But Berlin blocked the newly completed Nord Stream 2 in the days before Moscow sent troops to Ukraine. Earlier on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said accusations Moscow was behind the gas leaks were "stupid and absurd".
He also pointed to the "huge profits" for US LNG suppliers who have "increased their supplies by several times". "They are very interested in getting super-profits in the future," he said.
The Russian embassy in Denmark said in a statement Wednesday the leaks were an act of "sabotage against the energy security of Russia and Europe". One of the leaks on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was identified in the Danish economic zone -- the other in Sweden’s.