Remarks by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, following the UNSC consultations on UNOCA
Q: Will consultations on Yemen be tomorrow?
A: Yes, consultations on Yemen were requested for tomorrow. They will take place at around 12 o’clock in the afternoon, exact timing is not yet known. So, yes, I confirm that there will be consultations on Yemen tomorrow.
Q: What are recent developments in Hodeidah?
A: I thought you would update me on Hodeidah because I was at the Council, I did not follow. Frankly, I don’t know recent developments.
Q: Who requested the consultations?
Q: Ambassador, are there any discussions among the Council members about some kind of the Council’s response to the Trump-Kim summit?
A: No, not for now.
Q: Was there any discussion about a possible statement or a press-statement, a presidential statement resolution on Yemen?
A: No, there was no discussion yet. That can be raised only in the meeting tomorrow.
Q: Was there any discussion on Cameroon? In the open meeting some people congratulated Mr. Fall for engagement. What would you say about that?
A: Cameroon was raised, people expressed concern, they asked Mr.Fall to follow the situation. You heard everything in the briefing, that was the continuation of what was there.
Q: Do you have any comment on North Korea in your national capacity, do you think the Council should hear, perhaps, a briefing?
A: Perhaps, but we don’t really have time even to discuss it amongst ourselves. The summit has just finished, I haven’t seen Nikki since then yet. Perhaps, yes, it would be interesting to hear from those who were directly involved their assessment of the results.
Q: China said yesterday that be there could be a consideration of lifting sanctions. What are Russia’s thoughts on that?
A: Well, I think that it is natural, we should be thinking about steps in that direction because there is a progress on the track that should be reciprocal, that should be a two-way street. Of course, the other side should see encouragement to go forward.
Q: Ambassador, do you think that the US amendment to the draft resolution in the General Assembly is another attempt by the US to obstruct the international consensus on calling for the protection of the Palestinian people? What do you think? Are you going to be in the meeting? Are you also going to speak?
Q: We are not planning to speak. Of course, we will be in the meeting, we support the resolution. On the amendment - there are security concerns of Israel, which US is trying to raise and their amendment is in that direction, but, of course, it is not in the spirit of that particular resolution. But we understand perfectly well the security concerns of Israel. We also condemn the missile attacks on the territory of Israel.
A: Ambassador, do you think the UN should have the role to play on the Korean peninsula?
A: I think that at a certain point the UN should play such a role, it has already played and adopted a number of resolutions on the DPRK, which, by the way, contain not only the sanctions part but the political part. And what is now happening around the DPRK, isn’t that de-facto the roadmap proposed by Russia and China last year? We see how it is being implemented, we are not claiming copyright on what is happening but obviously we see things moving in that direction and, of course, since political process was a part of the resolution on the DPRK, the UN should continue to be open.
Q.: Freeze for freeze which was discussed before? You use that. You understand this?
A.: These elements are ‘freeze for freeze’, it is clear. You answered your question yourself.
Q.: Ambassador, the OPCW today and the Fact-Finding Mission said that it was highly likely that sarin and chlorine were used in two attacks on May 24 and May 26 in Syria. Do you have any comment on that finding and whether there should be an effort to determine who was responsible?
A.: We discussed that issue today. We raised the topic the forthcoming conference of the parties of the OPCW which is scheduled in the Hague on June 26-27. We expressed our great concern about that because we believe that an attributive mechanism cannot be a part of the OPCW, because the CWC does not provide for attribution. We said that the only legitimate way to reestablish an attribution mechanism is an agreement within the Security Council. Any other attempts to establish a mechanism outside the Security Council will be illegitimate. We warned our fellow Security Council members and other countries.
Q.: Will the World Cup interfere with the Security Council business?
A.: Inevitably. I guarantee. Tomorrow we will have the opening, in fact, they will have the opening in Moscow at 10:30 local time. As I told, we established TV sets to watch games for everyone instead of boring business, watch the World Cup in the United Nations. So there will be locations where you can watch it. Tomorrow we will come to the Delegates’ lounge before the opening ceremony and we will watch the game together. Saudi Arabia team will also come to watch it with us. And tomorrow we will have a photo of the Security Council at 2:30 with all the Members of the Security Council in their national shirts. So if you want to laugh at us, you are welcome to come at 2:30.
Q.: Even those who are not qualified for the World Cup?
A.: Even those who are not qualified. It is the Security Council event and we also have the teams that are qualified in their uniforms at the opening.
Q.: On Yemen. Are you expecting a briefing from the Secretariat?
A.: Yes, they requested the briefing by DPA and OCHA.
Q.: It will be open or closed?
A.: It will be consultations.
Thank you very much.