Nord Stream: All parties support learning the truth
A senior Chinese envoy to the United Nations, Geng Shuang, expressed regret on Monday after a draft resolution to establish a commission to investigate the attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines was rejected by the UN Security Council.
After the vote, Geng, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, called for an objective, impartial and professional investigation into the explosions in September.
Russia's draft resolution called on the UN secretary-general to establish an independent international commission to investigate the attacks on the pipelines, which move natural gas from Russia to Europe under the Baltic Sea.
The draft won approval from China, Russia and Brazil, with the 12 remaining Security Council members abstaining. A resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, France, the United States or the United Kingdom to pass. "China supports the UN to establish an independent international commission to investigate the blasts in September," Geng said.
After the damage to the pipelines, many members of the Security Council, including China, expressed concerns about the major negative impact on global energy supplies, the environment and shipping safety, Geng said.
Some countries believe as relevant nations have already launched probes into the blasts, there is no need for the Security Council to authorize an international investigation, the envoy said. "In fact, an international investigation will not conflict with the national ones currently underway," Geng said.
An international investigation led by the UN could coordinate different country's probes, ensuring that the evidence chain is closed, and the investigation's conclusions are more authoritative and gain wider acceptance.
Some nations have also said that national investigations should be completed before an international one is considered. "In fact, it has been more than half a year since the explosion of the Nord Stream pipelines," Geng said.
"If an international investigation is to be conducted, the on-site evidence must be collected as soon as possible, so as not to delay too long and make it difficult to obtain evidence, which will affect the investigation results."
The envoy added that authorizing the UN to conduct an international investigation is the best way to respond to speculation and accusations. Blocking the Security Council from launching such an investigation only raises suspicions that "something is hidden behind the scenes", he added.
Although members of the Security Council did not reach an agreement on authorizing an international investigation, all parties support finding out the truth and bringing the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible, the envoy said.
Russia's permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said that after the vote, "suspicion as to who is behind the active sabotage on the Nord Stream is just obvious".
"I'd like to remind you of some basic facts in the eyes of the whole world, the US and its allies has done everything they can to ensure that there is no international investigation of what happened to Nord Stream in September," he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning questioned on Tuesday why the US is hesitant about investigating an incident that seriously threatens international peace and security, when it is so enthusiastic about conducting so-called investigations on developing countries.
"It is playing double standards. What is the US afraid of? We expect early progress from relevant investigations so that the world knows what truly happened to hold those responsible accountable," she said at a news conference in Beijing.