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Candidate for German far-right AfD says US behind pipeline sabotage

Published August 06,2023

The far-right Alternative for Germany's (AfD) leading candidate for upcoming European elections suggested that the United States was behind the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

"Nord Stream was blown up. That means critical infrastructure on which the competitiveness of German industry depends was blown away before our eyes," Maximilian Krah said on Sunday.

"Now I still have enough contacts in the US that my American friends can tell me: 'Of course it was the United States, who else?'"

Krah made the remarks while attending the AfD's party conference in the eastern German city of Magdeburg to prepare for the 2024 EU parliamentary elections.

Explosions in September 2022 near the Danish island of Bornholm severely damaged the two gas pipelines, which connected Russia to Germany.

By that time, Russia had already stopped supplying natural gas to Germany amid escalating sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The Swedish public prosecutor's office confirmed in November that the explosions were the result of deliberate sabotage.

Multiple investigations have not yet identified who was behind it. Potential suspects include Russia, Ukraine and the US.

Many members of the far-right AfD have expressed scepticism about EU sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The party's EU election programme, which was approved on Sunday, also questions Washington's leading role in European security without directly naming the US.

German investigators have reportedly focused on a chartered sailing yacht believed to have been used by a sabotage team. According to multiple media reports in March, investigators believe the yacht was chartered by a Polish company owned by two Ukrainians.