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Russia calls UN meeting on Nord Stream pipelines sabotage

Moscow has alleged that the US was behind the attack, but Washington denies the allegations

Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, which are not used, are seen in the harbour of Mukran, Germany, on September 30, 2022.
Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, which are not used, are seen in the harbour of Mukran, Germany, on September 30, 2022.FABIAN BIMMER (REUTERS)

Russia called a Security Council meeting Tuesday on last September’s explosions at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines from Russia to Western Europe after circulating a resolution calling for a UN investigation of the sabotage. Ahead of the meeting, the ambassadors of Denmark, Sweden and Germany sent a letter to council members saying their investigations have established the pipelines were extensively damaged “by powerful explosions due to sabotage.”

The letter, circulated Tuesday morning, said further investigations are being conducted in all three countries and that it’s unclear when they’ll finish. It says Russian authorities have been informed about the ongoing investigations. Security Council experts held closed consultations Monday on the Russian draft resolution and council diplomats said there was opposition to it. No vote was expected at Tuesday’s meeting, council diplomats said.

Some council diplomats view the resolution as a “spoiler” attempt to take the spotlight off UN meetings and adoption of a UN General Assembly resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demanding the withdrawal of all its forces on Thursday, the eve of the first anniversary of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nord Stream 1 carried Russian gas to Germany until Moscow cut off supplies at the end of August 2022. Nord Stream 2 never entered service as Germany suspended its certification process shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. The explosions on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines took place on Sept. 26.

Russia has alleged that the US was behind the attack, and the country’s resolution says the sabotage “occurred after the repeated threats to the Nord Stream by the leadership of the United States.”

The US denies the allegation. US State Department spokesman Ned Price last week called it “pure disinformation” that the US was involved in targeting Nord Stream.

In their letter to the council, Denmark, Sweden and Germany reiterated that acts of sabotage against the pipelines were “unacceptable, endanger international security and give cause for our deep concern.”

Concerns about the indirect effects on greenhouse gas emissions are “substantial and worrisome,” the letter said.

The Russian draft resolution, circulated to Security Council members and obtained by The Associated Press, expresses serious concern at the “devastating consequences to the environment” from the acts of sabotage which also “pose a threat to international peace and security.”

It asks UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to urgently establish an independent international investigation of the sabotage to identify “its perpetrators, sponsors, organizers and accomplices.” It says pipeline operator Russia and other interested parties have been barred from national investigations into the matter.

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