Putin's veiled threat to 'all infrastructure' after Nord Stream blasts

‘All world infrastructure at risk of terror attacks’: Vladimir Putin makes veiled threat after Nord Stream gas pipeline blasts as Britain vows to give Ukraine rockets to defend its cities

  • Vladimir Putin says blast at Nord Stream pipeline was ‘international terrorism’
  • Speaking at a forum yesterday he said the damage set a ‘dangerous precedent’
  • He warned that all infrastructure, no matter where in the world, is ‘under threat’
  • It comes after Britain pledged to give Ukraine anti-air rockets to protect its cities 

Vladimir Putin has made a veiled threat suggesting that all energy infrastructure in the world is a legitimate military target after the Nord Stream pipeline explosion last month.

The authoritarian leader said the blast in the gas pipeline, which western intelligence agencies have blamed on his own country, was a terrorist attack and this has set ‘the most dangerous precedent’.

Speaking at an energy forum in Moscow yesterday, the Russian president warned that ‘any critically important object of transport, energy or utilities infrastructure is under threat’.

In a hidden jab aimed at the west, he suggested that this applied no matter where the infrastructure resides or who manages it.

It comes as nations in Europe try to get set for a tough winter that is set to be dominated by surging energy prices and potential gas shortages brought on by Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine and the subsequent damage to the Nord Stream pipeline.

Despite the threat, Britain has promised to continue its support of Ukraine and has promised to send rockets to defend its cities in the wake of Russian barrages that killed at least 19 people and injured scores more earlier this week.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky had called for more help with his country’s air defence after the latest attacks and the UK seems set to answer by sending AMRAAM rockets capable of knocking out cruise missiles.

Vladimir Putin said the damage to the Nord Stream gas pipeline was caused by an act of ‘international terrorism’

Blasts at the pipeline in the Baltic Sea on September 26 sent plumes of gas shooting to the sea surface

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has requested rockets to help defend cities after fresh Russian missile barrages last week

Putin claimed that the attacks on Monday were aimed at Ukrainian infrastructure, and his veiled threat suggests he might target places farther afield than in the theatre of war.

It comes after he declared leaks in the Nord Stream pipelines which run from Russia underneath the Baltic Sea to Germany, to have been caused by acts of ‘international terrorism’.

Damage to the pipes was first discovered on September 26 when huge plumes of gas were discovered rising to the sea surface near the Danish island of Bornholm. Less than 24 hours later another leak was discovered in another section of piping. 

Western intelligence agencies believe the leaks to have been caused by Russian sabotage,but Putin has declared there is ‘no doubt’ it was a terrorist incident.

Speaking at the Russian Energy Week International Forum yesterday, Putin said the purpose of the attack ‘is to undermine the energy security of the entire continent’.

He said: ‘The logic is cynical: to destroy and block cheap energy sources, hence depriving millions of people, industrial consumers of gas, heat, electricity and other resources and forcing them to buy all this at much higher prices. Forcing.’

He then added a veiled threat, saying: ‘The attack on the Nord Streams has set an extremely dangerous precedent, which shows that any critical piece of transport, energy or communications infrastructure is under threat, regardless of its location, management or whether it lies on the seabed or on land.’

Putin’s latest threats come after a wave of embarrassing defeats for his forces in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

His troops have been pushed back in counter offensives in the northeastern and southeastern parts of Ukraine, while the key Crimean Bridge was crippled after a massive explosion last week.

The attack, for which Ukraine has not taken responsibility, was a slap in the face for the president as it critically hurt supply chains into Crimea and Kherson while also damaging what had been a symbol of Russian power.

At the forum yesterday, he decried the damage to the bridge as a ‘terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge committed by Ukrainian intelligence’.

Flame and smoke rise from the Crimean Bridge connecting Russian mainland and the Crimean peninsula over the Kerch Strait, in Kerch, Crimea, October 8, 2022

Russia’s FSB spy agency has revealed a X-ray that they claim shows a 23-ton bomb disguised as industrial plastic sheeting which blew up the Crimean Bridge

There had been fears he would ‘go nuclear’ in retaliation, but this was downplayed by the Kremlin, and instead Russia launched its largest barrage of missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian cities since the war started in February.

Cities including the capital Kyiv were targeted by strikes that hit civilian areas, including a railway terminal, a concert hall and two museums, as well as a power plant.

A defiant President Zelensky declared that Ukraine had managed to shoot down half of the missiles before they landed, by at least 19 people were still killed and dozens more injured, prompting him to call for aid.

Now Nato allies have said hundreds of air defence missiles will be donated along with an additional 18 howitzer artillery guns and hundreds of additional drones.

The AMRAAM rockets will work alongside the US’s NASAMS air defence systems and could save hundreds of innocent lives.

Last night Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: ‘Russia’s latest indiscriminate strikes on civilian areas warrant further support to those seeking to defend their nation. 

These weapons will help Ukraine defend its skies from attacks and strengthen their overall missile defence alongside the US NASAMS.’

The UK is going to send AMRAAM air-to-air intercept missiles (pictured) to Ukraine to help defend its cities. 

Rescuers work at a site of a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia, on Monday

Sites across Ukraine were hit by a wave of missiles on Monday, Ukraine said it counted 83 missiles.  Here a rescue worker responds to a strike in Zaporizhzhia

83 Russian missiles were launched at Ukraine in combination with Iranian drones, striking power stations, water supplies and civilians across the country – killing eight and wounding 24 in Kyiv alone on Monday

The UK will also give £10 million to NATO’s Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine. The funding will provide winter clothes, shelters, generators, fuel trucks and ambulances for the Ukrainian Army ahead of the winter.

The Defence Secretary will urge his Allied counterparts to continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes. At a series of meetings in Brussels they will review the implementation of decisions taken at the Madrid Summit designed to strengthen NATO’s collective deterrence and defence.

NATO members will also discuss defence industrial capacity, to ensure they can increase munitions stockpiles to support Ukraine and defend NATO territory.

Also on the agenda is the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines and measures required to safeguard the critical infrastructure of NATO states.

NATO has doubled its numbers of ships in the Baltic and North Seas and is about to begin a series of nuclear warfare preparedness exercises.

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