Ambassador Robert Wood
Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
March 27, 2023
Thank you, Mr. President.
Let me begin by reiterating our deep concern regarding the sabotage that took place on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines in September 2022. The United States categorically refutes Russia’s unfounded allegations leveled against us in relation to this act of sabotage. The United States was not involved in any way. Period.
As we have said previously, the international community cannot tolerate any deliberate actions to damage critical infrastructure.
However, let us be clear on what Russia’s draft resolution was, and what it was not. It was an attempt to discredit the work of ongoing national investigations and prejudice any conclusions they reach that do not comport to Russia’s predetermined and political narrative. It was not an attempt to seek the truth.
The competent national investigations by Sweden, Denmark, and Germany are proceeding in a comprehensive, transparent, and impartial manner. As many Council members have said, they must first be allowed to conclude. That is why we did not support this draft resolution and voted to abstain today.
We must ask why, despite having failed to make its case to the Council, Russia still chose to bring this resolution to a vote. It is difficult to accept Russia’s posturing that it only seeks an impartial, independent investigation.
Let it be clear for the record that the first draft of Russia’s resolution clearly implicated the United States, based on mischaracterizations of statements made by U.S. officials. The first draft criticized the investigations of other UN Member States. Over the course of many rounds of consultations, Russia failed to provide any credible new information to justify a UN investigation at this time.
I repeat: Russia has consistently sought to advance a political agenda based on unfounded accusations and predetermined culpability. Russia’s decision to call for a vote on a resolution that has such little support should make us all question what its true intent is.
UN resources for UN investigations should be preserved for scenarios where states fail or are unable to carry out genuine, impartial investigations. That is not the case today. We cannot allow Russia’s continued spurious allegations to distract this Council or unnecessarily divert the UN’s scarce resources from other pressing matters deserving of this Council’s attention and resources.
If Russia were truly committed to protecting civilian infrastructure, it would demonstrate this through its actions. Russia’s claim to be concerned over the sabotage of critical infrastructure belies the fact that Russia is relentlessly attacking its neighbor. It is striking cities and towns across Ukraine, damaging and destroying residential areas and medical facilities.
Russia’s attacks against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure have left millions displaced, without power, and in need of humanitarian assistance.
Russia’s calls for accountability today ring hollow.
Thank you, Mr. President.