The UN and them: how the Security Council reacted to the Russian demand for an investigation into Nord Stream

The UN cannot confirm or verify the allegations of sabotage at Nord Stream and is awaiting the results of national investigations. This was stated by the Deputy Secretary General of the organization Rosemary DiCarlo on February 21 at a meeting on explosions on pipelines. Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya called for an independent investigation. He also noted that the countries that were behind the explosion should compensate Russia for the damage caused. However, experts interviewed by Izvestia believe that this meeting will not lead to an impartial investigation.

Changing the date

The date of the meeting of the UN Security Council requested by Russia on the explosions at Nord Stream has changed. According to Dmitry Polyansky, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the organization, Western countries did not allow the appointment of an event at a convenient time for Russia, “so as not to blur the effect of the emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Ukraine that is being resumed at the same time.” As a result, the meeting started on February 21 at 23:00 Moscow time.

Recall that on February 17, Russia submitted to the UN Security Council a draft resolution on an independent investigation into pipeline explosions. The document proposes to the Secretary General to set up an international commission of jurists to deal with this issue. The decision to contact the organization was made after the publication of an article by American journalist Seymour Hersh, who blamed Washington for the incident.

Help “Izvestia”

On February 8, American journalist Seymour Hersh published an investigation into the explosions at Nord Stream on the Substack platform. According to him, the explosives under the gas pipeline in June 2022 were planted by American divers under the cover of NATO exercises Baltops22. Norway agreed to help in the operation, according to the journalist. According to him, on September 26, on orders from the administration of US President Joe Biden, a Norwegian Navy Orion P8 reconnaissance aircraft dropped a sonobuoy, the signal from which spread underwater first to Nord Stream 2, then to Nord Stream 1. This signal activated the explosives.

On February 20, the UN announced that Secretary General of the organization António Guterres would comply with the decision of the Security Council to investigate the explosions at Nord Stream, if it was accepted. At the same time, the world organization previously reported that it did not have a mandate to conduct an investigation.

There is no other way to get the truth

At the beginning of the meeting, Deputy Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo noted that the UN could neither confirm nor verify the allegations of sabotage at Nord Stream. According to her, they are still awaiting the results of national investigations (Sweden, Denmark and Germany). The organization also called for restraint in the discussion due to the “delicacy of this issue” in the context of recent events in the world.

Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said at the meeting: Hersh’s information leaves no doubt as to who is to blame for the incident. He noted that the Russian Federation calls for an impartial international investigation, and also pointed out the need for compensation for damages.

It should be noted that on this day, the permanent representatives of Germany, Denmark and Sweden to the UN sent a joint appeal to the organization. It says that they have not yet completed the investigation into the explosions at Nord Stream. Vasily Nebenzya, in turn, noted that these countries did not notify Moscow of the progress of their work, despite the appeals of the Russian authorities.

He added that in this regard, Moscow has reason to doubt the impartiality of experts from these three countries. “We have no other way to get the truth. Those investigations are not only not transparent, but also aimed at covering their tracks, ”added the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN.

Parties’ opinion

As expected, the British representative at the organization noted that the Russian Federation is thus trying to look away from real problems, implying the situation in Ukraine. The US representative believes that Russia is not interested in an objective investigation, but uses the platform to spread conspiracy theories.

However, not all members of the Security Council took up the position of the Western camps. China’s Permanent Representative to the UN Zhang Jun announced in advance that China would support the Russian project. The official representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin, also stated that the international community has the right to demand a thorough investigation into the circumstances of what happened at Nord Stream, given the serious consequences.

Help “Izvestia”

On the night of September 26, a leak occurred on one of the lines of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. This happened in the Danish exclusive economic zone southeast of the island of Bornholm. Also, gas leaks were recorded from both threads of the Nord Stream to the northeast. The Investigation Department of the FSB of Russia opened a criminal case on the commission of an act of international terrorism. Denmark, Sweden and Germany have begun their own investigations, to which specialists from the Russian Federation are not allowed.

Zhang Jun noted at a meeting on February 21 that simply denying his involvement is not enough. “If it cannot be established who is behind this, we will send the wrong signal to those who think they can get away with it,” he added, stressing that China supports expediting the investigation.

In Germany, in turn, the opposition forces do not leave this incident unattended. Member of the Committee on Energy and Climate Protection in the Bundestag from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party Mark Bernhard told Izvestia that the destruction of Nord Stream is an attack on Germany’s energy supply.

“I support an open and impartial investigation and have already called for it several times in the Bundestag. The AfD parliamentary group has also repeatedly called for the necessary investigations to proceed. However, the federal government stifles public explanations and refuses to provide parliament with the information it has, he said.

According to him, if Seymour Hersh’s latest publications turn out to be reliable, then this attack will significantly complicate German-American relations.

However, the expert community is convinced that the meeting of the Security Council will not lead to a public investigation.

– We see a rather sluggish reaction of some members of the UN Security Council on this issue. Even if some resolution is passed, it will be blocked because the administration [президента США Джо] Biden vehemently denies any involvement. At the same time, which is the most symptomatic, charges of libel are not brought against the Russian Federation. Just information [о причастности Вашингтона к инциденту] is ignored and refuted in every possible way, and not at the highest level,” Alexander Kamkin, a senior researcher at IMEMO RAS, told Izvestia.

Program Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club, RIAC member Timofey Bordachev is sure that the practical significance of the meeting lies in the fact that this issue will be discussed at the level of the Security Council.

– That is, Russia can state its version of events, which is the most plausible, which is confirmed by independent investigations. At the same time, of course, the Americans and their satellites will block any resolution presented by the Russian side,” he added.

He believes that Sweden, Germany and Denmark will continue not to publish the results of the investigations. “They couldn’t prove that Russia is to blame. Why would they publish it then?” Timofei Bordachev concluded.

frozen question

It should be noted that in Russia they also began to calculate the damage from explosions of gas projects. The need to do this was stated by State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin, who allowed the collection of funds from foreign companies located in Russia. On February 16, the Committee on Energy of the Lower House requested PJSC Gazprom to calculate the damage from the damage to Nord Stream.

“I hope that in the near future we will receive calculations on economic and environmental damage and on lost profits, on the possibility of restoring gas pipelines and their operation, as well as on the measures taken by companies,” said Pavel Zavalny, head of the Duma Energy Committee.

He recalled that 50% of the gas pipeline belongs to Gazprom, the rest belongs to European energy companies. According to the parliamentarian, the repair of pipelines is possible, but it is technically difficult to implement.

The German Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection (BMWK) told Izvestia that they could not comment on the possibility of repair work on Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 after the explosions. They noted: this issue will be decided by the companies participating in the project or by Russia itself.

In early January, the New York Times reported that operator Nord Stream AG allegedly began calculating the cost of repairing and restoring gas flow. On this basis, the publication concluded that Russia is preparing to restore the damaged gas pipeline. This information has not been confirmed.

According to Alexander Kamkin, it will not be possible to repair the gas pipeline in the near future.

– SP-2 included a fairly large number of European companies. Of course, it will be extremely difficult for Russia to do this alone under the conditions of total sanctions pressure. We need cooperation with German companies and a number of others. So for the foreseeable future, this issue can be considered frozen,” the expert notes.

Nord Stream 2 was blocked after Russia recognized the LPR and DPR on February 22, 2022. On February 23, the US Treasury imposed sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 AG gas pipeline operator. Later, having condemned the start of Russia’s NWO in Ukraine, the companies participating in the project, including the German Wintershall and the Austrian OMV, announced a review of their participation in SP-2. British Royal Dutch Shell announced its decision to withdraw from all joint projects with Russia, including Nord Stream 2.

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