The German economics minister Robert Habeck has said he cannot answer any questions about Nord Stream because the ongoing investigations are classified. At the weekly press conference of the federal government, Spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann said she could not say whether the Germans would comment if the USA were behind the attack.
Question: I think we’ve all seen that slightly questionable Hersh report. Nevertheless, I would be interested to know whether the German federal government has its own insights into what was behind the Nord Stream explosion.
Spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann: I can say from my side – you probably saw that too – that the USA and others very clearly rejected this report, which of course we also took note of. As you know, all relevant authorities have been investigating this incident very carefully since it took place. The Attorney General also began investigations into this matter early on. However, the federal government has no knowledge that would support the claims in this article in any way.
Question: The article is about the United States and Norway, among other things. Were there any talks with them as a result of the article? Did the two governments approach the Federal Government or the Federal Foreign Office to comment?
Hoffmann: Both the Americans and the Norwegians very clearly rejected what the article claims.
Question: But between partners, I would expect that you would not only find out about it through the press, but that there would also be direct discussions.
Hoffmann: I cannot provide any information about direct confidential discussions, which neither denies nor confirms that discussions took place in this matter.
Journalist Tilo Jung: Would the federal government tell us if it was the Americans?
Hoffmann: That is a completely hypothetical question far from reality. So I would certainly not answer that at this point.
Tilo Jung: I don’t think so. I’m sure if it was the Russians and you can prove it, then you’d be guaranteed to tell us. I’m wondering if you’re going to explain that, no matter who did it.
Hoffmann: There are so many Ifs in that sentence I can’t even untangle it. As I said, the Federal Government is dealing with this case at various levels, and the Attorney General is investigating. In that sense we are working on it.
Question: When will the federal government communicate its findings to the Bundestag, the parliament?
Hoffmann: The investigation is currently ongoing and we would first of all wait and see what these investigations reveal. Then you can think about it.
Additional question: You know that there are accusations from political and parliamentary circles that the federal government refuses to communicate the current status of findings based on its own investigations and those of allies. How do you respond to this accusation?
Hoffmann: We take note of that, but I don’t want to comment on it here.
Addendum: Seriously? When representatives accuse the Federal Government of refusing to inform Parliament of its findings, you can’t just say “No comment!”
Hoffmann: Yes, we can; I don’t want to comment.
Question: When can we expect your report?
Hoffmann: I can’t give a time frame. We have to await the investigations of the Attorney General.
Additional question: You pointed out that the Americans reject (Hersh’s report), of course. But do you reject it? I still don’t quite understand that.
Hoffmann: Yes. As we said: We have no knowledge whatsoever that would in any way support the claims he made.
Nordstream-Sabotage der Amerikaner? Die Bundesregierung hat heute den Bericht von Seymour Hersh zurückgewiesen. Eigene Erkenntnisse zur Sabotage kann man (noch) nicht teilen.
“Würde uns die Bundesregierung mitteilen, falls es die Amerikaner waren?”
Antwort bleibt offen. pic.twitter.com/N9z9Eo1MYu
— Tilo Jung (@TiloJung) February 10, 2023
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