Jeffrey Sachs: UNSC On Nord Stream Sabotage

Biden on Nord Stream 2
President Biden on Nord Stream 2 Pipeline if Russia Invades Ukraine: "We will bring an end to it."

“The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines on Sept. 26, 2022, constitutes an act of international terrorism and represents a threat to the peace,” Jeffrey Sachs.

Tumbleweed. That is the sound in the major mainstream media — both foreign and domestic — following the charges by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that the United States led a covert operation to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines in September 2022.

The story, released on Hersh’s new Substack last week, unleashed a Twitter war between Hersh’s defenders and detractors, but a simple Google search betrays a dearth of mainstream coverage, with only brief reports by BloombergAgence France PresseThe Times (UK) and the New York Post (a conservative holding of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire). The Washington Times editorial board, also squarely on the right, wrote sympathetically about it on Monday, and Newsweek has covered it as well

All other newspapers of record — the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and European outlets like the BBC, the Guardian, and most German newspapers (an interview on Berliner Zeitung dropped late Wednesday ) —  have ignored it. Tucker Carlson and other hosts covered it on FOX News, another Murdoch staple, but the rest of the cable news circuit — CNN, MSNBC — are seemingly on board with what appears to be a total MSM blackout. 

However, the few agencies left that are outside the Olicharhy control for the moment have had no choice but to listen to testimony.

Ray McGovern and Jeffery Sachs addressed the U.N. Security Council Tuesday on the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage in light of Sy Hersh’s reporting.

ray mcgovern
Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

It took place at the UNITED NATIONS, on Feb. 22 (Xinhua) — its mandate was an investigation by the UN Security Council into the explosions that blew up the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines in September 2022 is a high global priority, said Jeffrey Sachs.

“The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines on Sept. 26, 2022, constitutes an act of international terrorism and represents a threat to the peace,” Sachs told the Security Council in a briefing.

Jeffrey D. Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs has been Special Advisor to three United Nations Secretaries-General, and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under UN Secretary General António Guterres. Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees, and has received 40 honorary doctorates. Sachs has recently received the Legion of Honor by decree of the President of the Republic of France and the Order of the Cross from the President of Estonia. His most recent book is The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020).

This is his testimony on the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, an act of international terrorism

Jeffrey Sachs:

My name is Jeffrey Sachs. I am a university professor at Columbia University. I’m a specialist in the global economy, including global trade, finance, infrastructure and economic statecraft. I have appeared before the U.N. Security Council on my own behalf. I represent no government or organization in the testimony that I will deliver. The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines on September 26th, 2022, constitutes an act of international terrorism and represents a threat to the peace.

It is the responsibility of the U.N. Security Council to take up the question of who might have carried out the act in order to bring the perpetrator to international justice to pursue compensation for the damaged parties and to prevent future such actions. The consequences of the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines are enormous. They include not only the vast economic losses related to the pipelines themselves and their future potential use, but also the heightened threat to transit boundary infrastructure of all kinds submarine Internet cables, international pipelines for gas and hydrogen transboundary power transmission, offshore wind farms and more.

The global transformation to green energy will require considerable transboundary infrastructure, including in international waters. Countries need to have full confidence that their infrastructure will not be destroyed by third parties. Some European countries have recently expressed concern over the safety of their offshore infrastructure. For all of these reasons, the investigation by the U.N. Security Council of the Nord Stream explosions is a high global priority.

The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines required a very high degree of planning, expertise and technological capacity. The Nord Stream 2 pipelines are a marvel of engineering. Each section of pipe is of steel of 4.5 centimetre thickness, and with a pipeline internal diameter of 1.15 meters. The pipe is encased in concrete of 10.9 centimetre thickness. Weight of each section of concrete encased pipe is 24 metric tons.

The Nord Stream 2 pipelines, some 1200 kilometres in length, contained around 200,000 pipes. The pipelines sit on the sea floor. Destroying a pipeline of heavy rolled steel encased in concrete at depths of 70 to 90 meters requires a highly advanced technology for transportation of the explosives. Diving to install the explosives and detonation to do so undetected in the exclusive economic zones of Denmark and Sweden adds greatly to the complexity of the operation.

As a number of senior officials have publicly confirmed, an action of this sort must have been carried out by a state level actor. Only a handful of state level actors have both the technical capacity and access to the Baltic Sea to have carried out this action, including the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Poland, Norway, Germany, Denmark and Sweden, either individually or in some combination.

Ukraine lacks the necessary technologies, as well as access to the Baltic Sea. A recent report by the Washington Post revealed that the intelligence agencies of the NATO countries have privately concluded that there is no evidence whatsoever that Russia carried out this action. This also comports with the fact that Russia had no obvious motive to carry out this act of terrorism on its own critical infrastructure.

Indeed, Russia is likely to bear considerable expenses to repair the pipelines. Three countries have reportedly carried out investigations of the Nord Stream terrorism. Denmark, Germany and Sweden. These countries presumably know much more about the circumstances of the terrorist attack. Sweden in particular, has perhaps the most to tell the world about the crime scene, which its divers investigated. Yet instead of sharing this information globally, Sweden has kept the results of its investigation secret from the rest of the world.

Sweden has refused to share its findings with Russia and turned down a joint investigation with Denmark and Germany in the interest of global peace. The U.N. Security Council should require these countries to immediately turn over the results of their investigations to the U.N. Security Council. There is only one detailed account to date of the Nord Stream destruction. The one recently put forward by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, ostensibly based on information leaked to Hersh by an unnamed source. Hersh attributes the Nord Stream destruction to a decision ordered by U.S. President Joe Biden and carried out by U.S. agents in a covert operation that Hersh describes in detail.

The White House has described Hersh’s account as, quote, completely and utterly false, unquote, but did not offer any information contradicting Hersh’s account and did not offer any alternative explanation. Senior U.S. officials made statements before and after the Nord Stream destruction that showed the U.S. animus towards the pipelines. On January 27th, 2022, Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland tweeted, quote, If Russia invades Ukraine one way or another, Nord Stream two will not move forward, end quote.

On February 7th, President Biden said, quote, If Russia invades again, then there will be no longer Nord Stream 2 We will bring an end to it. End quote. When asked by the reporter how he would do that, he responded, quote, I promise you, we will be able to do it. End quote. On September 30th, 2022, immediately following the terrorist attack on the pipeline, Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared that the destruction of the pipeline is, quote, also a tremendous opportunity.

It’s a tremendous opportunity to once and for all remove the dependance on Russian energy, and that’s to take away from Vladimir Putin the weaponization of energy as a means of advancing his imperial design. End quote. On January 28th, 2023, Undersecretary Nuland declared, in testimony to Senator Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate, quote, I am, and I think the administration is very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2 is now, as you like to say, a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea.

End quote. Such language is not at all appropriate in the face of international terrorism. I hope that the United States, together with all other Security Council members, will condemn this act of international terrorism and join together in an urgent U.N. Security Council led investigation of this international crime in order to determine the truth. The truth is not yet known by the world, but it is knowable more than ever.

The world depends on the U.N. Security Council to do its work to stop the escalation to a new world war. The world will be safe only when the permanent members work together diplomatically to solve global crises, including the war in Ukraine and the rising tensions in East Asia. The U.N. Security Council provides the unique global venue for that peace affirming work.

More than ever, we need a healthy, functioning U.N. Security Council carrying out the mission assigned to it by the U.N. Charter. A U.N. Security Council objective investigation of the Nord Stream 2 terrorism, in which all countries contribute what they know, is important for the global confidence in this body and most importantly, for global peace and sustainable development. Thank you very much.

The Security Council meeting was called by Russia after Seymour Hersh’s report pointed to the U.S. and Norway as the culprits.

-Jeffrey D. Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs is University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he directed the Earth Institute from 2002 until 2016. He is President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Chair of the Lancet COVID- 19 Commission, Co-Chair of the UN Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition, Commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, academician of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences at the Vatican, and Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Honorary Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Development at Sunway University.

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