After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the completion of the first string of Russia's Nord Stream-2 bypassing Ukraine, the threat of terrorist attacks by Russia can't be ruled out, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov believes.
"We're talking about real threats. Putin announced yesterday that Nord Stream 2 had been completed – its first string. Gas is still being transmitted to Europe through our gas pipeline, and is to be transmitted this way for some time, but then Putin will most likely seek to launch gas transit bypassing Ukraine," Avakov said, according to the interior ministry's press service.
Avakov says he doesn't rule out attempted terrorist attacks on the Ukrainian section of the pipeline.
Read also Zelensky: Only U.S. can prevent Nord Stream 2 from being completed "Therefore, we expect attempts at terrorist attacks at our section of the gas pipeline where [Russians] will say: 'You see, we want to [continue Ukraine transit], but here's what they're doing, therefore we are launching gas transit through the Nord Stream 2.' And we have enough such intelligence information," Avakov added.
Ukraine is considering various scenarios and intensifying potential response efforts at critical infrastructure.
Nord Stream 2: Putin's statement
On June 4, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said the first string of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline laid through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany had been completed:
“The work on the second string is underway. The line works, including at the offshore section, is completed," Putin said.
Reporting by Yevgeny Matyushenko