Moscow’s proposal to conduct an international inquiry into last year’s destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline, which carried Russian natural gas to Northern Europe, was rejected by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
In the March 27 poll, only Russia, China and Brazil voted in favor of the resolution, while the remaining 12 Council members abstained.
Nine out of 15 votes are required for a resolution to be adopted by the Security Council. It could also be rejected by any of his five permanent members of the Council: the United States, Great Britain, France, Russia and China.
After the vote, the UN envoy in Moscow, Vasily Nebenzia, told reporters that the result was “as expected”. Nonetheless, he added, “It reveals a few things.”
According to diplomats, Moscow is calling for an independent investigation into the Nord Stream incident. “Because the investigations conducted by Sweden, Denmark and Germany do not meet the requirements of an objective investigation.”
Deputy U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood condemned Russia’s proposal, aiming to “discredit the ongoing national investigative work and prejudice conclusions that are inconsistent with Russia’s pre-determined political narrative.” Said there was
He also denied the need for an international investigation, saying the ongoing investigation by the three European countries was proceeding “in a comprehensive, transparent and impartial manner”.
In late September last year, the Nord Stream pipeline breached in Swedish and Danish waters, creating severe energy shortages and accelerating inflation across Europe.
Under the Baltic Sea, 760 miles of pipelines connect Russian gas fields with German energy terminals. The Nord Stream pipeline is majority owned by Gazprom, Russia’s largest energy company.
The world capital quickly concluded that the breach was caused by deliberate sabotage. Nevertheless, Germany, Sweden and Denmark abruptly stopped the joint investigation, citing “national security” concerns.
Moscow called the breach an “act of terrorism” and claimed to have evidence of Western complicity, but did not disclose it. Since then, he has repeatedly called for an international investigation into the incident.
Germany, Sweden and Denmark have since reopened their separate investigations, but have yet to come up with any conclusive results.
Last month, veteran US journalist Seymour Hersh shocked many observers when he published a report on the Substack platform that suggested US responsibility for the attack.
Citing anonymous sources, Hersh claimed the Biden administration had given the green light to the attack, and that it was carried out by U.S. Navy divers and Norwegian experts.
To further support his theory, Hersh cited Biden’s claim earlier last year to “terminate” the pipeline if Russia invaded Ukraine.
When asked about Hersh’s claims, a US National Security Council (NSC) spokesman called them “completely false.”
Russia criticizes ‘Akanishin’
But the story didn’t stop there.
On March 7, the New York Times published an article claiming that a “new intelligence agency” suggested the attack was carried out by a rogue “pro-Ukrainian group.”
The article cited unnamed US officials to support its claims and ruled out involvement in, or knowledge of, the attack by Kiev.
Shortly thereafter, the German press reported that an investigation had found that a team of six, including divers, had used a rented yacht to carry out the attack.
Russian officials condemned a new media narrative they described as a “herring.”
Andrei Ledenev, minister-counselor at the Russian Embassy in Washington, claimed that the reports in the US and German media were intended to “divert blame from the politicians who ordered and coordinated the attack.”
This claim was repeated by Hersh, who published a follow-up article on March 22nd.
According to the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, the “pro-Ukrainian group” scenario was “certain elements of the CIA” and a “cover story” fabricated by German intelligence agencies.
The story Hersh claimed was intended to provide the US and German press with an “alternative version” of how the pipeline had been sabotaged.
He also noted questionable reports that surfaced after a well-planned visit to Washington by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Again, Hersh cited an anonymous source as “a person with access to diplomatic information” to back up his claims.
US refuses to get involved
In any event, Washington remains adamant that the United States had nothing to do with the incident.
After Russia’s UNSC proposal was rejected, Wood said: period. “
Investigators in Germany, Sweden and Denmark must be allowed to finish their work before reaching a conclusion, an NSC spokesman said.
Moscow officials have vowed to continue to raise the issue at the UNSC and other international fora.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on March 28 that “Russia will continue to promote the implementation of necessary measures to identify the perpetrators.”
Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.