Spy chief Sergey Naryshkin claims Moscow's opponents are trying to cover up sabotaging the pipelines
The director of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergey Naryshkin says there is evidence, which indicates that "the West" may have been behind the disabling of the Nord Stream undersea pipelines.
"We already have certain materials, which point to a Western trace in organizing and executing this terrorist attack," Naryshkin told journalists on Friday.
He made the remark after explaining that Western nations were trying to cover up the incident to protect the perpetrators and masterminds.
"A number of Western nations launched a search for the 'authors' of this terrorist act pretty much the day after it happened," he explained. "I believe the West is doing everything to hide the true executors and organizers" of the incident.
Leaks in the underwater gas route between Russia and Germany were detected this week after a rapid drop of pressure on Monday. Seismologists in Sweden detected explosions in the area, where natural gas flowing out of the pipes was later discovered by air patrols. Western and Russian officials believe the ruptures to have been caused by sabotage.
Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian national security council, stated on Friday that the US was the primary beneficiary of the disruption. He pointed to a CIA-backed attack on Nicaragua's oil infrastructure in the 1980s as a historic example of American sabotage operations.
There has been speculation in the Western media that Moscow may have attacked the pipelines to put pressure on the EU, as it faces high energy prices before winter.
Polish MEP and former Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski implied that the US was behind the incident by thanking it on Twitter. He celebrated the incident, saying that Russia would have to use an overland pipeline going through Poland, if it wants to deliver on its gas contracts with customers in Western Europe. The official, who has connections with Washington's elite, later deleted the post, saying that he was sharing a personal theory about the Nord Stream breaches.