Russia Fails at UN to Get Nord Stream Blast Inquiry

Credit: AdobeStock
Credit: AdobeStock

Russia failed on Monday to get the U.N. Security Council to ask for an independent inquiry into explosions in September on the Nord Stream gas pipelines connecting Russia and Germany that spewed gas into the Baltic Sea. 

Only Russia, China and Brazil voted in favor of the Russian-drafted text, while the remaining 12 council members abstained. A resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, France, the United States or Britain to pass. 

Russia proposed the draft resolution last month, just days before the first anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine. "Without an objective and transparent international investigation the truth will not be uncovered as to what happened," Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the council before the vote. 

The pipeline blasts occurred in the exclusive economic zones of Sweden and Denmark. Last month Sweden, Denmark and Germany said that their own separate investigations by national authorities were still ongoing and Russia has been informed. They said in a joint letter to the Security Council that the damage was caused by "powerful explosions due to sabotage." 

The United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have also called the incident "an act of sabotage." 

Most of the Security Council members who abstained on Monday said they did so because the national investigations should be allowed to conclude before considering whether any action at the United Nations was needed. 

Russia has complained that it has not been kept informed about the ongoing national investigations. Moscow has maintained, without providing evidence, that the West was behind the blasts. 

"The United States was not involved in any way. Period," said deputy U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Robert Wood, accusing Russia of trying to "discredit the work of ongoing national investigations and prejudice any conclusions they reach that do not comport to Russia's predetermined and political narrative."

(Reuters - Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Ismail Shakil and Alistair Bell)

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