Putin blames Nord Stream blasts for disruption of Russia-Germany relations

  • World
  • Tuesday, 05 Dec 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev at the "Russia" forum and exhibition celebrating the country's major achievements in Moscow, Russia, December 4, 2023. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that cooperation between Moscow and Berlin had been disrupted by blasts in September 2022 affecting Nord Stream pipelines that had pumped Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

Putin made his comment while accepting the credentials of more than 20 new foreign ambassadors to Russia, including those of Germany and Britain, at a ceremony in the Kremlin.

"The current frozen state of (Germany's) relations with Russia - and this is not on our initiative, I want to emphasise - is unprofitable. It is unprofitable both for us and for you, but especially, in my view, for Germany," Putin said.

"Energy has always been an attractive area of bilateral cooperation," he said. "This cooperation was literally disrupted by the sabotage on the Nord Stream pipelines."

Russia has blamed the United States, Britain, and Ukraine for the pipeline blasts. They all denied any involvement.

Putin also said on Monday he hoped that relations between Moscow and London would improve.

"Let us hope that the situation will change for the better in the interests of our two countries and peoples," Putin said.

Russia's relations with Western countries are at their lowest level since the depths of the Cold War following Putin's decision in February 2022 to send tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, prompting sweeping Western economic sanctions.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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