Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Germany is still “occupied” and unable to act independently decades after the country surrendered following World War II. The Russian President made the remarks in response to being asked about Nord Stream gas pipeline explosions in an interview on Russian state television.

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Backing his remarks, Vladimir Putin said that leaders in European countries have been forced into losing their sense of independence and sovereignty.

“The matter is that European politicians have said themselves publicly that after World War Two, Germany was never a fully sovereign state,” Vladimir Putin was quoted saying.

“The Soviet Union at one point withdrew its forces and ended what amounted to an occupation of the country. But that, as is well known, was not the case with the Americans. They continue to occupy Germany,” he further said.

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Claiming that the Nord Stream gas pipelines incident was carried out on a “state level”, Vladimir Putin said that suggestions that the blasts were carried out by an autonomous pro-Ukraine group are “complete nonsense”.

“One should always look for those who are interested. And who is interested? Theoretically, of course, the United States is interested. An explosion of this kind, of this power, at this depth, can only be carried out by specialists, and supported by the full power of the state, which has certain technologies,” Vladimir Putin said.

Earlier, Germany’s defence minister had said that the blasts on the Nord Stream gas pipelines could have been a “false-flag operation to blame Ukraine”.