Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the Security Council Meeting on cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organizations
We welcome High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Mm. Federica Mogherini. We are thankful for the briefing on cooperation between the UN and one of the biggest regional organizations.
As recent as on March 7, we discussed cooperation between the UN and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, where all the members of the Security Council with no exception advocated development and improvement of cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional mechanisms based on Chapter VIII of the Charter.
This is equally valid for the EU, AU, EEU, CSTO, SCO and other regional organizations, because the modern world makes it absolutely necessary to solve problems together, on the basis of comparative advantages of every inter-State mechanism. Each and every of the aforementioned regional organizations is worth credit and is capable of contributing to the international stability and cooperation.
We notice and share the unwavering commitment of the EU to strengthen global multilateralism under the leading role of the United Nations. In this, our interests are absolutely similar.
At the same time, we are concerned about a dangerous trend, that has recently become more outspoken: the attempt to replace the international law by some “rules based order”. This is what we come to hear from the representatives of the EU. Those rules, however, are invented to suit the concrete needs of the associates. Those who agree to obey those rules become classified as supporters of multilateralism, those who do not - as its adversaries.
There is no doubt that the European Union is a significant political and economic actor at the international arena, which makes important, often crucial contributions to the settlement of many international issues. The EU is very well-presented in the UN Security Council. As of today, more than one third of the Security Council members (5 Member States) are part of the EU, two of them have the veto right. Despite contradictions that Russia and the EU have, our interaction on many tracks does not interrupt. There is vast potential, especially in terms of such global challenges as terrorism, religious extremism, drug trafficking, trans-border crime, and illegal migration.
Russia and the EU have accumulated broad expertise of close and fruitful cooperation on Middle East settlement in the framework of the “quartet” of international mediators. In particular, in 2016 we presented a joint report that contained clear guidelines to resume political process. It still remains relevant.
We positively assess the role of the EU in establishing agreements regarding the Iranian nuclear program – the topic on which Russian diplomats also worked hard. We hope the EU will provide a constructive contribution to the international efforts to promote political settlement in Syria. That being said, it is vital to abandon the issue of politicizing humanitarian assistance to the SAR and the country's restoration. The EU also plays a great role in fostering peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts of the UN, including on the African continent. You can count on our fullest support in this regard.
The EU Member States also make meaningful contributions to promoting international development, implementation of SDGs and Agenda 2030. However over the recent years the readiness and capability of the EU to play a constructive role on the European continent and in the world have come into question. Just think, such a prominent and economically powerful association cannot define its own political line. What frequently comes to the fore is the interests of the Euro-Atlantic solidarity and bloc-oriented thinking. The effects of it are clearly seen in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, now also Venezuela and a number of other States. The models of internal settlement proposed for these countries often do not work out. Do not burn bridges, otherwise mediation can be out of demand. One of the recent examples is the stagnation of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, and the inability to convince the Kosovo-Alban authorities to abandon the policy of provocation.
Unfortunately, restrictions and sanctions have almost become key tools of foreign policy in the modern world. The European Union also resorts to it. The effect of such unilateral steps is rather dubious; it only weakens the developing states that the global community should support. We note that our European colleagues readily “swallowed” the wrong US assertion that Russia allegedly violated one of the key agreements for the European continent – the INF Treaty, which we were actually trying to protect as long as we could. As a result, we watch one of the pillars of the all-European security collapsing under a rather spurious pretext. It is out of this bloc solidarity again, that the EU agrees with most absurd accusations against Russia. To replicate such accusations has almost become a common political courtesy in the West.
Despite this, we prefer to be optimists. Russia believes that all the external opportunistic aspects will be overcome and we will again be able to talk about strategic partnership, in which our common neighbors, as well as many African, Asian and Latin American States have great interest. We do not lose hope that by joint efforts we will be able to “heal” the existing splits in the Euro-Atlantics, and to prevent any new divides.
We do not want a weak or a split European Union, as it is often presented. We want it to be strong and independent. We want a European Union that has an important role in the global affairs and a vision of the future for Europe from the Atlantics to Vladivostok.