German defense minister warns against drawing hasty conclusions

Allegra Goodwin in London

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said people should be wary of drawing conclusions too hastily after the recent release of media reports alleging that a “pro-Ukrainian group” may have been behind last year’s attack on the Nord Stream pipelines.

In an interview with the German public radio station Deutschlandfunk (DLF), Pistorius said it is also possible that the attack was a false-flag operation.

“It could just as well be, and this has also been made clear in the reports, that it was a false flag action (operation), in other words, to blame pro-Ukrainian groups and make it look that way, the probability of one or the other is equally high, so we must now wait and see how things develop,” Pistorius told DLF.

“It does not help us to think about the impact this would have on our support for Ukraine on the basis of such research, which has undoubtedly been done painstakingly and meticulously,” Pistorius said.

Some context: Mystery has surrounded who might be responsible for the brazen sabotage last September, which damaged two pipes transporting Russian gas into the European Union and targeted a crucial source of revenue for Moscow. Both pipelines were closed at the time of the attack.

A report by the New York Times Tuesday cited new intelligence that a “pro-Ukrainian group” may have been behind the attack. Ukraine has denied any involvement.

“Although I enjoy collecting amusing conspiracy theories about (the Ukrainian) government, I have to say: (Ukraine) has nothing to do with the Baltic Sea mishap and has no information about ‘pro-(Ukraine) sabotage groups,'” Mykhailo Podolyak, top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on Twitter.

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