On Monday, March 27, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) failed to adopt a resolution proposed by Russia seeking an international investigation into the Nord Stream gas pipeline blasts. Two Nord Stream gas pipelines—supplying gas from Russia to European countries across the Baltic Sea—were blown up in September 2022.
Only three countries (Russia, China, and Brazil) voted in favor of the resolution, while the remaining 12 countries abstained. Though there was no vote against the resolution, it failed to pass as it did not receive the required minimum of nine affirmative votes.
Citing recent media reports claiming newly unearthed information related to the blasts, Russia had proposed a UN-led comprehensive and transparent investigation into the matter.
Seymour Hersh, an award winning American journalist, had claimed last month that the US was directly responsible for the blasts, with orders to execute the operation coming directly from the office of President Joe Biden. The US has rejected Hersh’s claims. However, several other media reports have also indicated that the US might have played a role in the blasts.
There have also been media reports claiming the involvement of some Ukrainian groups in the blasts. Ukraine has also rejected such claims.
Russian representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia expressed his country’s “serious and very well founded doubts” about the transparency of national investigations currently being carried out by various countries, including Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. He claimed that these countries have failed to cooperate with Russia, one of the main affected countries. Nebenzia also alleged that the national investigations were trying to mislead the UNSC and may cause deliberate delays.
The US and its European allies have emphasized that the demand for an international investigation is “premature” and that no new investigation should be opened when there are already multiple national investigations underway.
Chinese delegate Geng Shuang, expressing support for the demand for an international investigation, claimed that it would not conflict with the ongoing national investigations but could instead play a coordinating role. He also noted that almost six months had passed since the blasts and that evidence must be collected as soon as possible.
Shuang said that a UN-led investigation would be the best response to international speculation and any attempt to block such an investigation would raise suspicions that “something is hidden behind the scenes.”