The US intended to use the threat of blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines to dissuade Russia from attacking Ukraine, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has argued.
In an exposé published online in February, Hersh claimed that the US orchestrated the September 2022 bombing of the Baltic Sea pipelines built to deliver gas from Russia to Germany.
Speaking to German online magazine Tichys Einblick on Monday, the journalist said President Joe Biden originally viewed the threat of sabotage as a deterrent.
Hersh claimed that plans for a potential attack began towards the end of 2021, when the US was accusing Moscow of a military buildup along the border with Ukraine.
“The idea was to find something extraordinary that the president could use, like an enticement or a threat, to convince Putin not to attack [Ukraine],” Hersh said.
“Above all, it was a threat. I don’t think this administration is very good at persuasion. They operate more along the lines of, ‘You’re with us or you’re against us,’” the journalist added. “The idea was to tell Putin: ‘We will blow up the pipelines if you cross the Ukrainian border.’”