Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, made the reference at a UN Security Council meeting last Friday, the wp.pl website reported at the weekend.
During a discussion about the recent leaks on the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, the Russian official cited a tweet by Polish ex-Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, who wrote on Tuesday, after the rupture to Nord Stream was discovered: “Thank you, USA.”
Sikorski later explained that he was referring to US President Joe Biden’s remark from February. As Russia prepared to invade Ukraine, Biden said on February 7: "If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it."
The former Polish foreign minister, now an MEP with the opposition Civic Platform (PO) group, has been widely criticised for his tweet, with party leader Donald Tusk calling it “needless extravagance.”
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the US State Department, Ned Price, said on Thursday: “The idea that the United States was in any way involved in the apparent sabotage of these pipelines is preposterous. It is nothing more than a function of Russian disinformation and should be treated as such.”
Sikorski eventually deleted his Twitter message, wp.pl reported.
Russia cites Sikorski’s tweet at UN Security Council
On Friday, Russia’s Nebenzya brandished a print-out of Sikorski’s tweet during a UN Security Council discussion on the Nord Stream leaks.
He said that Sikorski “directly thanked the US for the sabotage,” adding: “Yesterday, when he realised he had said too much, he deleted the tweet.“
Sikorski’s message was one of a number of arguments outlined by the Russian official to suggest that the Nord Stream leaks were beneficial to the United States, wp.pl reported.
Nebenzya said the main question about the blasts was whether Washington “could gain from the destruction of the pipelines,” as quoted by the Reuters news agency.
The Russian official added: “The answer is undoubtedly. American liquefied natural gas suppliers should be celebrating the manifold increase in LNG supplies to Europe."
Polish gov't reacts to Russia’s use of Sikorski’s tweet
Meanwhile, a Polish deputy foreign minister on Friday night commented on how Sikorski’s tweet was exploited by Russia at the UN.
Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk wrote on Twitter: “Russia’s representative at the UN refers with relish to Radek Sikorski’s tweet in order to spread Russian propaganda.”
He added: “And so the Civic Platform’s ‘mastermind’ has broken into the international fora. We congratulate him on his fame.”
Meanwhile, the defence ministers of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland said in a joint statement on the Nord Stream leaks: “All information currently available points to a deliberate act of sabotage close to the national borders of Denmark and Sweden. It cannot be ruled out that this is a reckless attack on Europe’s energy infrastructure and an attempt to destabilise the already tense security situation.”
Earlier, Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said: “When we analyse the energy-security situation in the Baltic Sea region, the hypothesis that Russian services were behind the leaks is looking increasingly plausible.”
Monday is day 222 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: wp.pl, Reuters, press.un.org, tvp.info, government.se