China calls for expediting probes into Nord Stream blasts
Updated 17:36, 28-Mar-2023

A Chinese envoy on Monday said countries that have started investigations into the Nord Stream gas pipelines explosions in the Baltic Sea should find the truth as early as possible.

Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, made the remarks after the United Nations Security Council failed to adopt a Moscow-drafted resolution that called for an independent international probe on the incident in September.

Russia, China and Brazil voted in favor and the other 12 members abstained.

Speaking after the vote, Geng said the incident of sabotage is not only about Europe, but also about the security of global transnational infrastructure.

"It is in the interest and of the concern of every country to conduct an objective, impartial and professional investigation into the incident and publish the findings as soon as possible to hold the perpetrators accountable," said Geng.

The blocking of the Security Council from conducting an international investigation by some countries only raises suspicions that "something is hidden behind the scenes," he said.

Although the UN Security Council failed to reach consensus over the investigation, all the members agreed that the truth should be unearthed and the perpetrators brought to justice at an early date, he said.

China expects the countries conducting investigations to enhance their sense of urgency, report their progress to the Security Council in a timely and regular manner, and identify and release the results as early as possible, said Geng.

Ronaldo Costa Filho, Brazil's permanent representative to the UN, said any proposal by a Security Council member must be respected. He said Brazil voted in favor of the proposal because the Nord Stream incident was an act of sabotage with the possible involvement of a state actor.

During Monday's hour-long meeting, the representatives of Russia and the United States engaged in several rounds of debates over Moscow's motives for proposing the draft resolution and whether the investigation has been politicized.

Keen to conduct "investigations" of other developing countries, the U.S. is covering up in this incident, which obviously engages in double standards, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry Mao Ning responded on Tuesday.

"May I ask the United States what you are afraid of?" Mao asked.

Noting that the draft resolution proposed by Russia provides an important option to find out the truth, Mao pointed out that China regrets that the Security Council failed to reach a consensus on it.

China noted that many members had condemned the damage of the Nord Stream pipeline in their statements, and some had pointed out that the investigation should be accelerated and the information should be transparent, which fully illustrates that the global transnational infrastructure security issue is of great concern and a comprehensive, impartial, transparent and independent international investigation is crucial, she added.

In a February report, Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh claimed that the U.S. government was the mastermind behind the Nord Stream blasts. Washington dismissed the report.

(Cover: The gas leak at the damaged Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea, Sweden, September 30, 2022. /CFP)

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