Nord Stream blast inquiries continuing, countries say at UN

Greenhouse gas emissions caused by blast are 'substantial and worrisome'

In this photo provided by the Armed Forces of Denmark, a helicopter crew monitors a gas leak in the Baltic Sea. AP
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Investigations by Denmark, Germany and Sweden into explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines have not yet concluded, the three countries told the UN Security Council in a letter on Tuesday before a meeting called by Russia on the September incident.

Moscow wants the 15-member council to ask for an independent inquiry into the blasts on the pipelines connecting Russia and Germany, which spewed gas into the Baltic Sea.

A vote has not yet been scheduled on the proposal.

Denmark, Germany and Sweden told the Security Council in their joint letter that the “Russian authorities have been informed regarding the ongoing investigations” by their national authorities, which had so far established that the damage to the pipelines was caused by “powerful explosions due to sabotage”.

“These investigations have not yet been concluded. At this point, it is not possible to say when they will be concluded,” the letter said.

“The authorities of Denmark, Germany and Sweden have been in dialogue regarding the investigation of the gas leaks, and the dialogue will continue to the relevant extent.”

Russia has asked US economist Jeffrey Sachs, of the Centre for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, to brief the Security Council at Tuesday's meeting.

“The environmental damages are considered to be local and limited to the areas affected by the leaks,” Denmark, Germany and Sweden wrote.

“The consequences as concerns greenhouse gas emissions are substantial and worrisome.”

Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, has said the aim was to put the proposal for an independent inquiry to a vote at the Security Council this week. A council resolution needs at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the US, Britain, France, China or Russia to pass.

This means a vote could coincide with meetings of the UN General Assembly and Security Council to mark the first anniversary of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The 193-member General Assembly is likely to vote on Thursday to again demand Moscow withdraw its troops and call for a halt to hostilities.

Updated: March 08, 2023, 4:24 AM