China has expressed its support for a United Nations-led investigation into the Nord Stream gas pipeline explosions that occurred last September and caused severe disruptions to Europe’s energy supply.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, built by Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom, connect Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea and have a combined capacity of 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The pipelines were hit by a series of unexplained explosions on Sept. 27, 2022, which damaged both lines and forced them to shut down.
Russia has blamed sabotage by unidentified actors for the blasts and has submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council in February, requesting the UN secretary-general to establish an independent international commission to investigate the incident.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday that China supports Russia’s draft resolution and agrees on the approach of promoting a UN-led international investigation.
“The impact of the pipeline blasts has been enormous, and most members of the international community have demanded the truth behind the scene,” Wang said at a regular press briefing.
He added that China hopes some Western member states of the Security Council will renounce their “selfish geopolitical interests” and play a constructive role in consultations over Russia’s draft resolution.
The UN is the most authoritative and representative international organization, and such an investigation will form synergies with the ongoing inquiries conducted by countries and help find out the truth faster, Wang said.
Denmark, Germany and Sweden have launched their own probes into the blasts. The European Union has also expressed its concern over the incident and called for transparency and cooperation from all parties involved.
The Nord Stream explosions have raised questions about Europe’s energy security and dependence on Russian gas. The incident coincided with a surge in gas prices across Europe due to low inventories, high demand and reduced supplies from other sources.
According to Gazprom, repairs on both pipelines are underway and expected to be completed by April. The company has also pledged to fulfill its contractual obligations to its European customers through alternative routes.