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Germany should name pipelines saboteur: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-27 20:57

Gas bubbles from the Nord Stream 2 leak reaching surface of the Baltic Sea in the area shows disturbance of well over one kilometer diameter near Bornholm, Denmark, Sept 27, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

Denmark announced on Monday that it had ended its investigation into the explosions that damaged the underwater Nord Stream gas pipelines in September 2022, with the Danish authorities saying the "comprehensive and complex" probe jointly carried out by the Copenhagen Police and the Danish security service concluded the blasts were acts of sabotage, but they did not have sufficient grounds to pursue a criminal case.

The announcement came after Sweden closed its investigation into the explosions earlier this month. While its investigation came to the same conclusion, Swedish officials went so far as to say that a state actor was the most likely culprit. But they too refused to point the finger at the perpetrator, saying the country didn't have jurisdiction.

The two countries' investigation materials remain confidential, but Sweden has said it had handed over to the German authorities "material that can be used as evidence" in investigation that Germany is carrying out.

It is clear from what they have said that both Denmark and Sweden have identified the country responsible for blowing up the pipelines, but they are unwilling to say which one it was.

The Germans are therefore bound to reach the same conclusion.

The resounding silence over the Danish and Swedish investigations' conclusions, which have no doubt been quietly revealed to friendly ears, are in a stark contrast to the hasty and loud allegations made by some Western countries in the immediate aftermath of the explosions that Russia's was the hand behind the sabotage.

There is no reason why the Western nations, which are accustomed to blaming Russia for many a wrong committed, would not rush to point the finger at Russia if there was evidence to back up their accusation.

The country/countries that neither Denmark nor Sweden is willing to publicly name, also had the weight, or the necessary support, to block a public, independent probe of what was also a huge environmental crime as early as March 2023 when Russia moved to form such an investigative committee under the auspices of the United Nations.

As Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, said at the time, those countries that blocked the international investigation only called into question their motives and raised suspicions that they had something to hide.

An impartial international investigation into the Nord Stream pipeline explosions is important because it was the sabotaging of cross-border infrastructure. Pursuing the responsibility of the perpetrator/s concerns the interests of every country. That's why China continues to call for an objective and professional investigation to hold the hand/s behind the act answerable for the crime.

Announcing the end of its investigation, Sweden said that it was not pursuing the case as the perpetrator/s posed no threat to its national security. But Germany's national security, in the form of its energy security at least, has been threatened. It should bite the bullet and name the party responsible.

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