The State Department reacted to Russia’s request for a UN investigation of the pipelines? destruction
The Nord Stream pipeline explosions did not take place on US soil so Washington believes it would be most appropriate for the countries whose territory was involved to investigate them, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday.
“I would leave it to our partners in whose territory — on whose land it was — these blasts occurred to speak to the appropriate investigative mechanisms,” Price said during the daily briefing.
Price declined to comment on the news that Russia has called a meeting of the UN Security Council for next week, with the intention of seeking a international investigation into the September 2022 explosions that damaged Baltic Sea pipelines that previously supplied Russian natural gas to Germany.
“I will repeat what we have said before: What we have heard from Moscow, what we have heard from the Kremlin, is nothing but a lie. It is pure disinformation that the United States was behind what happened with Nord Stream 2, uh, The Nord Stream explosions,” Price said. “This is the message we have consistently conveyed in the face of these lies sought by Russian officials, and will convey them [sic] again if we need to, in some form.”
Russia has previously said Britain and the US “benefited” from the pipeline’s destruction but stopped short of accusing Washington directly. However, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh did just that in one Substack article was published last week. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist described how the American divers planted the explosives and claimed that a Norwegian aircraft gave the detonation signal.
The White House dismissed Hersh’s story as “completely false and complete fiction”. Price himself called it “complete and utter nonsense” at a briefing last week, prompting his Russian counterpart Maria Zakharova to accuse him of “again lying live on air and openly mocking journalists who asked perfectly legitimate questions.”
In an interview with German newspaper Berliner Zeitung over the weekend, Hersh stood by his claims, saying the destruction of the pipelines happened because US President Joe Biden “would rather see Germany freeze than Germany possibly stop supporting Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, when asked about a possible UN investigation into Nord Stream sabotage, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday that the world body would need to “have a mandate, which we don’t have, clearly.”
Denmark, in whose waters the explosions occurred, is a member of NATO. Both it and neighboring Sweden – which is trying to join the US-led bloc – have refused to even respond to Russian requests for an investigation. NATO’s current Secretary General is a former Prime Minister of Norway.