In a recent press conference in Kyrgyzstan, Russian President Vladimir Putin vehemently denied any Russian involvement in the damage to an underwater gas pipeline connecting Finland and Estonia.
The Finnish government had previously suggested that the pipeline's damage was a deliberate act of sabotage. Putin dismissed these claims as "complete rubbish," even suggesting that an earthquake could have been the cause.
Finland and Estonia have initiated a joint investigation into the incident, gaining support from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo stated that the leaks in the pipeline couldn't have been a result of normal use or pressure fluctuations.
Putin went on to accuse the West of using the pipeline incident as a distraction from what he termed a "terrorist attack" against Russia's Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.
In September 2022, these pipelines suffered major leaks due to large blasts, which Russia blames on the United States and the United Kingdom, although no evidence has been provided to support these claims.
While the investigation into the Nord Stream pipeline attacks remains ongoing, Putin's strong denial adds another layer of complexity to the geopolitical tensions surrounding energy resources in the region.