President Volodymyr Zelensky has denied allegations that Ukraine was responsible for destroying the Nord Stream gas pipeline in an explosion last September.
“We didn’t know anything about it, 100 per cent,” he said in an interview with German newspaper Bild.
His comments followed a Washington Post report claiming that a European intelligence agency had informed US counterparts of a Ukrainian plot to blow up the pipeline. Nord Stream was used to supply Russian gas to Europe, and gave Moscow leverage over European states that were initially hesitant to sever ties with Russia and strongly support Ukraine.
The report, citing Discord leaks attributed to a US serviceman who was arrested in April, alleged that Ukraine assembled a team of divers reporting to the country’s most senior military commanders to carry out the attack.
Mr Zelensky rejected the charge, saying he would have had to authorise such an operation.
“Ukraine has never done anything like this and I would never do it,” he said. “Our military and intelligence did not do it.”
“Show us the evidence,” Ukraine’s leader demanded, and went on to accuse the Post of doing “work for the Russian Federation” by publishing the article.
The destruction of the pipeline in September, which led to a record-breaking gas leak, has never been resolved despite several ongoing investigations.
US and German intelligence agencies have previously suggested Ukrainian involvement. Veteran US journalist Seymour Hersh reported that the operation was ordered by the US.