The Hague: Dutch military intelligence warned the CIA of a Ukrainian plan to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipeline three months before explosions damaged the undersea system, news reports said Wednesday.
The US spy agency then urged Kyiv not to go ahead with the operation, Dutch NOS public broadcaster reported, in collaboration with German broadcaster ARD and national weekly Die Zeit.
The CIA warned Ukraine “after receiving an alarming report from the Dutch Military Intelligence Services (MIVD) which heard about the plans via a Ukrainian source,” NOS said.
The Washington Post reported last week that the CIA was tipped off about the Ukrainian plans by a European spy agency, but it did not say which country was responsible.
Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren declined to comment when asked about the reports.
“I cannot comment on the work of our intelligence services,” she told reporters at a press conference in Amsterdam, adding that the incident was under investigation by Germany, Sweden and Denmark.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, built to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany, were rocked by underwater explosions on September 26.
The Netherlands was one of the key stakeholders in Nord Stream along with Russia, France and Germany.
Accusations were made against several countries including Russia, the United States and Ukraine, but all denied responsibility. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this month again denied Kyiv’s involvement.
The plan allegedly intercepted by Dutch intelligence said that top Ukrainian general Valerii Zaluzhnyi was in charge of the operation, involving a small team of divers using a sailing boat, and that Zelensky was not aware, NOS said.
It said that along with German media it had spoken to several international intelligence sources who were aware of the involvement of the MIVD.
The Washington Post said documents leaked by a US Air National Guard computer technician indicated that an unnamed European spy service had told the US Central Intelligence Agency about the plan in June 2022.
Meanwhile, German investigators are probing evidence that Poland was used as a staging base for the operation, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. AFP
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