Russian President Vladimir Putin said Germany’s reaction to the explosion of North Sea pipelines showed it was still under occupation and unable to act independently decades after it capitulated at the end of World War Two.

In an interview with Russian state Rossiya-1TV channel, Putin added that European leaders have been intimidated into losing their sense of sovereignty and independence.

Western countries, including Germany, have been cautious in their response to investigations into explosions on Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipelines last year, saying the bombing appeared to be deliberate but declining to say who it believed was responsible.

“The thing is that European politicians declared themselves that Germany was never a fully sovereign country after the Second World War”.

“The Soviet Union at one point withdrew its forces and ended what amounted to an occupation of the country… But this, as is known, wasn’t the case with the Americans… They’re still occupying Germany”.

Putin said, the Nord Stream bombings were carried out on a state level and deprecated the suggestion that an independent pro-Ukrainian group was responsible for the bombing as complete nonsense.

The Nord Stream pipelines were intended to carry Russian gas to Germany, but Berlin has taken steps to reduce its dependence on Russian fossil fuels since Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine began a year ago.

Berlin were cautious about who was responsible for the Nord Stream bombings, with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius saying last week that the bombings may have been an attack that suggested someone was behind it to blame Ukraine.

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