UNSC rejects Russian resolution on Nord Stream pipeline sabotage
New York/Beijing: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) today (IST) rejected a resolution, moved by Russia to establish an international independent investigative commission into the September 2022 “acts of sabotage” committed on the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea.
By a vote of 3 in favour (Brazil, China, Russian Federation) to none against, with 12 abstentions, the Council rejected the draft resolution, owing to a lack of sufficient votes in favour.
The resolution, if adopted, would have requested the Secretary-General to establish an international, independent investigation commission to conduct a comprehensive, transparent and impartial international investigation of all aspects of the act of sabotage on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines — including identification of its perpetrators, sponsors, organizers and accomplices.
It would have outlined the commission’s composition, deciding that it would comprise “impartial and internationally respected experts” selected by the Secretary-General, and be furnished with an adequate number of experienced and impartial staff.
Further by its terms, the Council would have requested the Secretary-General to report to it within 30 days on recommendations for the proposed specific modalities of the commission and encouraged Member States — including those conducting their own relevant national investigations — to fully cooperate and share information with the commission.
Speaking before the vote, the representative of the Russian Federation said his delegation was proposing the establishment of a United Nations-led, independent investigation into the Nord Stream gas pipeline attacks due to its “serious and very well-founded doubts” about the transparency of national investigations currently being conducted, namely by Denmark, Germany and Sweden. A more comprehensive and transparent investigation is needed, he stressed, especially given the emergence of new facts and media reports about the Nord Stream incidents. He also warned that “precious time is being wasted” and that national investigations could go on for years.
China’s representative, expressing regret over the draft resolution’s failure, said that an international investigation would not, in fact, conflict with the national ones currently underway. A United Nations-led investigation could play a coordinating role and make the findings of other studies even more authoritative. Launching a United Nations-led investigation is also the best way to respond to broad international speculation, he said, adding that blocking the Council from launching such an investigation only raises suspicions that “something is hidden behind the scenes”.
The representative of the United States, rejecting “unfounded” allegations about his country’s role in the act of sabotage on the Nord Stream pipeline, said the international community cannot tolerate damage to critical infrastructure. “However, the text put forth by the Russian Federation was not an attempt to seek the truth, but rather to discredit the work of ongoing national investigations which might not reach conclusions that align with their predetermined narrative,” the US said.
Later in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said that the UN Security Council needs to step up to its responsibility for international peace and security. “The draft resolution presented by Russia offers a meaningful option for the search for truth, yet the Security Council failed to agree on the draft. We express our regret and note that quite a few Security Council member states condemned the act of sabotage on the Nord Stream pipelines in their statements,” she said.
Beijing also criticised the US for the latter’s “typical double standard”. “The US is usually enthusiastic about investigating developing countries, yet it has been hesitant to do so on an incident that seriously threatens international peace and security,” Ning said and asked, “What is the US afraid of?”
China hoped the ongoing investigation will make progress and let the world know what truly happened soon, and that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.
– global bihari bureau