Denmark, Germany, and Sweden stated on Tuesday, February 21st, that investigations into the explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines are still ongoing, according to a joint letter presented to the United Nations Security Council as it convened to discuss what had happened last September, Euractiv reported.
The pipeline, which connects Russia and Germany, was found to be leaking gas into the Baltic Sea, further exacerbating a European energy shortage. Even though early signs pointed toward a deliberate act of destruction rather than an accident, the countries located near the explosion sites launched an extensive investigation to determine the exact circumstances of the incident. In November, Sweden confirmed that the damage was indeed done by an act of sabotage.
The letter sent to the UN on Tuesday noted that the authorities of the three countries have informed their Russian counterparts about the status of the investigation, and thus far, it has been determined that the pipeline damage was caused by “powerful explosions due to sabotage.” The letter also stated that the damage had severe consequences in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and that the dialogue between Berlin, Copenhagen, and Stockholm regarding the investigation of the gas leaks will continue.
Evidence suggesting that the U.S. and its allies were behind the sabotage was presented earlier this month by Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist. Hersh’s allegations were dismissed by the White House as “utterly false and complete fiction.”
Several MEPs have repeatedly called for the EU to ramp up the investigations into “one of the biggest acts of economic sabotage ever carried out on the European Union,” the results of which clearly hurt Europe and benefit only the United States.
Russia also called for the UN Security Council to ask for an independent inquiry into the explosions on the pipelines. Moscow has repeatedly alleged that the West was responsible for the explosions, but has not presented any proof so far. “There is no doubt about the motive of the crime, nor its perpetrator, nor the way in which the crime was committed,” Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya told members of the Security Council.
Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s deputy UN ambassador, said that the objective is to put the proposal for an independent inquiry to a vote at the Security Council by the end of the week. A council resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the permanent members (the United States, Britain, France, China, and Russia) to pass. TASS news agency reported that China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, told the Security Council that Beijing supports Moscow’s call for the inquiry.
A vote on the independent inquiry could coincide with meetings of the UN General Assembly and Security Council to commemorate the first anniversary of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. On Thursday, the 193-member General Assembly is expected to vote again to demand Moscow withdraw its troops and call for a halt to hostilities.