Blocking a UN probe would make the West look even more suspicious, Moscow’s ambassador told Security Council
The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines was an act of international terrorism and must be addressed to avoid “chaos” on the high seas, Moscow’s UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told the UN Security Council on Tuesday. Russia has accused Germany, Sweden and Denmark of a cover-up to protect the US and said it would only trust a UN investigation.
The two pipelines carrying Russian natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea were damaged by a series of explosions in September 2022. While Moscow has stopped short of openly accusing the US of carrying out the bombing, journalist Seymour Hersh did just that in a article was published earlier this month.
Nebenzia cited Hersh’s article and statements by several US officials who threatened the pipeline – from President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, to the “godmother of the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine,” under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland. He also brought up infamous tweet by the former Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski and a alleged text by Liz Truss, the British Prime Minister at the time – all indications are that the US and its allies had the motive, as well as the means and opportunity, to destroy Nord Stream.
“We’re not going to do ‘highly likely’ here,” Nebenzia said, referring to the British accusations against Russia in the Security Council chambers in 2018. The publicly available evidence is “more than a smoking gun” that Hollywood is so fond of, but all Moscow wants is an independent international investigation into the claims in Hersh’s article, the Russian diplomat added.
The attack on Nord Stream involved explosives and qualifies as international terrorism under a convention signed in 1997, Nebenzia noted. Unless its perpetrators are found and brought to justice, the attack could well usher in an era when transnational underwater infrastructure becomes a legitimate target, causing “chaos and terrible harm to all of humanity,” he added.
According to Nebenzia, Russia does not trust the investigations currently being conducted by Sweden, Denmark and Germany, as they all refused to share their findings or simply ignored Moscow’s requests. “It’s quite clear,” he said, that they are “hiding from their American big brother.” If Western countries block Russia’s request for a UN investigation, it will “only support our suspicion”, he added.
Before Nebenzia addressed the Security Council, former US diplomat Rosemary DiCarlo – currently under-secretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs – claimed the world body was “not in a position to verify or confirm” anything, and urged everyone to “show restraint and avoid accusations that could escalate the already heightened tensions in the region.”
The Security Council also heard from Professor Jeffrey Sachs and retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who both testified to Hersh’s good faith. While the US Govt rejected Hersh’s story was false, it “did not offer any information that contradicted Hersh’s story and offered no alternative explanation,” Sachs said. He also called Nuland’s comments about Nord Stream “not at all suitable for international terrorism.”