Nord Stream: “Would the German government tell us that these are Americans?”

German government spokeswoman Christiune Hoffmann on Friday

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said he could not answer questions about Nord Stream because ongoing investigations are confidential. ANDAt the federal government’s weekly news conference, spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann said she could not say whether the Germans would comment if the US was behind the attack.

Question: I think we’ve all seen that somewhat questionable Hersh report. However, I would be interested to know if the German federal government has its own insights into what is behind the Nord Stream explosion.

Spokesperson Christiane Hoffmann: For my part, I can say – you’ve probably seen this – that the US and others have very clearly rejected this report, which of course we have taken note of. As you know, all relevant authorities have been investigating this incident very carefully since it happened. The Attorney General also started investigations into this case early. However, the federal government has no knowledge that would in any way support the claims made in this article.

Question: The article refers, among other things, to the United States and Norway. Were there any conversations with them as a result of the article? Have the two governments approached the federal government or the federal foreign ministry for comment?

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Hoffmann: Both the Americans and the Norwegians have very clearly rejected what the article claims.

Question: But among partners, I would expect that you will not only find out about it from the press, but that there will also be direct conversations.

Hoffmann: I cannot give any information about direct confidential conversations, which neither deny nor confirm that conversations have taken place in this matter.

Journalist Tilo Jung: Would the federal government tell us it was the Americans?

Hoffmann: That is a completely hypothetical question far from reality. So I certainly wouldn’t answer that at this point.

Tilo Jung: I don’t think so. I’m sure it was the Russians and if you could prove it, then you would surely tell us. I wonder if you’ll explain it, regardless of who did it.

Hoffmann: There are so many ifs in that sentence that 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 underway, and first of all we would wait and see what those investigations reveal. Then you can think about it.

Additional question: You know there are allegations from political and parliamentary circles that the federal government is refusing to communicate the current status of findings based on its own and allied investigations. 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 their findings, you can’t just say “No comment!”

Hoffmann: Yes, we can; I do not want to comment.

Question: When can we expect your report?

Hoffmann: I can’t give a time frame. We have to wait for the Attorney General’s investigations.

Additional question: You pointed out that the Americans refuse (Hersh’s report), of course. But do you reject it? I still don’t quite get it.

Hoffmann: Yes. As we said: we have no knowledge to support his claims in any way.

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