Voting is expected to take place after 15:00 (22:00 Moscow time)
The UN Security Council will vote on Monday on a Russian-Chinese draft resolution on an international investigation into the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. Voting is expected to be held after 15:00 (22:00 Moscow time).
The text of the draft proposes UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to establish an international independent commission to conduct a comprehensive, transparent, and impartial investigation of all aspects of the act of sabotage on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, including identifying the perpetrators, sponsors, organizers, and their accomplices.
Guterres is expected to appoint experts to this commission. If the resolution is passed, he must make recommendations for its establishment within 30 days. The document also encourages countries conducting their own investigations to fully collaborate with the commission and share information with it. The document urges these nations to share information with other interested parties as well.
Russia prepared the first version of the Nord Stream resolution at the end of February, but did not immediately bring it to a vote, instead inviting Security Council members to discuss the document. Three sets of consultations have been held since.
According to TASS sources within the world organization, there is no general agreement on Russia’s suggested document, which means it will most likely not be adopted.
A resolution must be backed by at least nine Security Council members in order to be adopted. Any of the permanent members may veto it, but only if the necessary number of votes is obtained to pass the document. If the resolution receives eight votes and the United States votes against it, it means that the veto was not used. However, if the document receives nine or more votes, voting against it will result in the use of the veto power.
“It’s not about the number of votes; it’s about the way they vote,” according to Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Previously, Western countries claimed that Russia was isolated and did not have the Security Council’s support, because it opposes the UN Security Council’s initiatives on Ukraine, while the rest of the Council’s members either back it or abstain.
The draft resolution was earlier co-sponsored by China. Other permanent members of the Security Council, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and France, are unlikely to back it, and may vote against or abstain in order to avoid being accused of obstructing Security Council work. Other Western Security Council members – Albania, Malta, Switzerland, and Japan – will probably vote as heads of their bloc.
Other non-permanent members’ positions are unclear, including Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, Mozambique, the United Arab Emirates, and Ecuador. As a result, Western countries with veto power may not even use it to stop the resolution from passing.
The Security Council meeting where the vote will take place was planned last week. However, on March 26, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry revealed plans to call an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement about his intention to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus. The time has not yet been decided, it may be held on Monday.
On September 27 last year, Nord Stream AG reported “unprecedented damage” that took place on three lines of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. Swedish seismologists registered two explosions that occurred on September 26 near the pipeline route. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office initiated a criminal case over charges of international terrorism.
On February 8, US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an article, which said, citing sources, that US Navy divers had planted explosive devices under the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines under the cover of the BALTOPS exercise in June 2022, and Norwegians activated the bombs three months later. According to the journalist, the decision to conduct the operation was made by US President Joe Biden personally, following nine months of discussions with White House security specialists. White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a comment to TASS that Hersh’s account was “utterly false and complete fiction.”