(United Nations) The UN Security Council on Monday rejected a Russian resolution calling for the establishment of an “independent international commission of inquiry” into the sabotage of the Nord Stream undersea gas pipelines last September.
The text co-sponsored by China and non-members of the Council (Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Syria) received 3 votes (Russia, China, Brazil), the 12 other members of the Council s abstaining.
It would have taken 9 votes in favor, without a veto from a permanent member, to pass it.
The resolution called on the UN Secretary General to establish this commission to “conduct a full, transparent and impartial international investigation into all aspects of the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, including the identification of perpetrators, sponsors, organizers and accomplices”.
Russia justified its request by claiming to have been excluded from the investigations launched by Sweden, Germany and Denmark, countries bordering the sabotage – which have rejected this accusation.
“We have significant and very well-founded doubts about the objectivity and transparency of the national investigations conducted by some European states,” Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzia insisted on Monday, further citing “suspicions” of actions taken under the guise of investigations to “hide evidence and clean up the crime scene”.
“I believe that after today’s vote, the suspicions about who is behind the Nord Stream sabotage are evident,” he added.
Many Council members rejected the idea of an international commission, assuring their confidence in the three countries leading the investigations, and denouncing an attempt by Russia to deflect attention from invading Ukraine.
The resolution was “an attempt to discredit national investigations…and prejudice their future findings if they do not fit Russia’s pre-determined political narrative,” Deputy U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood said, dismissing Russia’s “categorically baseless accusations” against the United States.
An earlier version of the text seen by AFP pointed out that the sabotage had taken place after “repeated threats against Nord Stream” from the United States. A reference that was no longer present in the text put to the vote on Monday.
Almost six months after the explosions that hit the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, the responsibility for the underwater attack still remains mysterious.
In a recent article, American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote that US Navy divers, aided by Norway, allegedly planted explosives in June that were set off three months later. Washington deemed this information “totally false”.
The New York Times has named a “pro-Ukrainian group” opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, based on information seen by US intelligence. Accusations denied by Kyiv and described by Moscow as a “coordinated media stunt”.