UK responds after Russia blames British navy for gas pipeline blasts

Russia's defence ministry blamed the British navy for the explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month.

Although the ministry did not provide any evidence for the claim, it said: “According to available information, representatives of this unit of the British Navy took part in the planning, provision and implementation of a terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea on September 26 this year - blowing up the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.”

Commenting on the accusation, however, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) accused Russia of “inventing the story” to detract from the faltering campaign in Ukraine.

The ministry added: “To detract from their disastrous handling of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defence is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale

“This invented story, says more about arguments going on inside the Russian Government than it does about the West.”

German, Danish, and Swedish authorities have since launched investigations into the incident which reportedly saw at least 50 metres of the underwater pipeline located in the Baltic Sea destroyed.

Danish police added that four powerful explosions had caused the ruptures in the pipeline.

“It is still too early to say anything about the framework under which the international cooperation with Sweden and Germany will run, as it depends on several factors,” Copenhagen Police added.

Due to the incident, Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace announced that ships will be dispatched to the North Sea in order to protect the UK’s infrastructure following the incident.

The MoD previously said: “A Royal Navy frigate is in the North Sea, working with the Norwegian Navy to reassure those working near the gas pipelines.”

This followed a meeting of the of the joint expeditionary force – comprising the UK, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Mr Wallace also announced that the Government will acquire “two specialist ships” with the capability to patrol and protect the network from Russia as Britain’s “internet and energy are highly reliant on pipelines and cables”.

He said: “The first multi-role survey ship for seabed warfare will be purchased by the end of this year, fitted out here in the UK and then operational before the end of next year.

“The second ship will be built in the UK and we will plan to make sure it covers all our vulnerabilities.”