The State Department reacted to Russia’s request for a UN probe of the pipelines’ destruction
The explosions on Nord Stream pipelines did not take place on US soil so Washington thinks it would be most appropriate for the countries whose territory was involved to investigate them, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday.
“I would leave it to our partners on whose territory – on whose soil as it were – these blasts occurred to speak to the appropriate investigative mechanisms,” Price said during the daily briefing.
Price declined to comment on the news that Russia has called a session of the UN Security Council for next week, with the intent to seek an international investigation into the September 2022 explosions that damaged the Baltic Sea pipelines previously supplying Russian natural gas to Germany.
“I will repeat what we’ve said before: What we have heard from Moscow, what we’ve heard from the Kremlin, is nothing but a lie. It’s pure disinformation that the US was behind what transpired with Nord Stream 2, er, the Nord Stream blasts,” Price said. “This is the message that we have conveyed consistently in the face of these lies that have been parroted by Russian officials, and will convey them [sic] again if we need to, in any form.”
Russia has previously said that the UK and US “benefited” from the pipeline’s destruction but stopped short of accusing Washington outright. Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, however, did just that in a Substack article published last week. The Pulitzer-prize winning journalist described how the US divers planted the explosives, alleging a Norwegian airplane gave the detonation signal.
The White House dismissed Hersh’s story as “utterly false and complete fiction.” Price himself called it “utter and complete nonsense” at a briefing last week, prompting his Russian counterpart Maria Zakharova to accuse him of “once again lying live on air, openly mocking journalists who asked fully justified questions.”
In an interview to the German outlet Berliner Zeitung over the weekend, Hersh stood by his claims and said that the pipelines’ destruction happened because US President Joe Biden “would rather see Germany freeze than Germany possibly stop supporting Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, when asked about a possible UN probe into the Nord Stream sabotage, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday that the world body would need to “have a mandate, which we don’t, clearly.”
Denmark, in whose waters the explosions happened, is a NATO member. Both it and nearby Sweden – which is trying to join the US-led bloc – have refused to even respond to Russian requests for an investigation. NATO’s current secretary-general is a former prime minister of Norway.