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China calls for UN-led int'l probe of Nord Stream blasts

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-27 03:24

FILE PHOTO: A Danish naval vessel on patrol in the Baltic passes the island of Christianso, a small archipelago with just 98 inhabitants under the administration of the Danish defense ministry in the Baltic Sea near the Nord Stream pipeline blast sites, in Denmark, March 9, 2023. [REUTERS/Tom Little]

UNITED NATIONS -- A Chinese envoy on Friday called for a UN-led international investigation of the September 2022 Nord Stream pipeline explosions.

It has been more than 18 months since the Nord Stream incident. It is simply regretful that no conclusion has been drawn, said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

China notes that Sweden and Denmark, two major parties to the incident, announced in February 2024 the termination of their country-specific investigations. The two countries' investigations did not disclose substantive information, did not reveal concrete progress, and did not draw clear conclusions, sparking even more speculations and misgivings in the international community, he told the Security Council.

The Nord Stream pipeline explosions were a serious incident that sabotaged transnational energy infrastructure. Since the explosions, the Security Council has considered the issue on many occasions, and many council members, including China, have been calling for an objective, impartial, and professional investigation to find out the truth as soon as possible and to bring the perpetrators to justice in order to prevent the reoccurrence of similar incidents. he said.

In the wake of the incident, members of the council debated whether to conduct international or country-specific investigations. At that time, certain members strongly advocated that Sweden, Denmark, and Germany be given the trust and the time to conduct their own country-specific investigations. However, after more than a year of investigations, no truth has been established, with only scant information offered, he noted.

"With the situation standing where it is, one cannot help but suspect a hidden agenda behind the opposition to an international investigation, while lamenting the potential cover-up and loss of quantities of compelling evidence," said Geng. "We reiterate our call for the early launch of a UN-led international investigation to bring the truth to light for the international community."

Russia is a main party to the Nord Stream pipeline explosions. China calls on the countries concerned to actively communicate and cooperate with Russia and jointly investigate the incident. On the Nord Stream issue, it is important to avoid double standards within the international community, and especially within the Security Council, he said.

Russia has circulated a draft Security Council presidential statement on the Nord Stream pipeline explosions. The draft objectively describes the situation and calls on the parties concerned to cooperate in investigation. These elements, clear and concise, meet the expectations of the international community and should be the consensus of the council. China hopes that an early agreement can be reached on the draft so that the council can speak out on this issue as soon as possible.

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