Remarks by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, following the UNSC consultations on 1718 Committee
Q.: 1718 Report you have seen that in how was the discussion today?
A.: The discussion was lively. You know that we put on hold the report of the 1718 Committee because we disagree with certain elements of the report of the Expert Panel and of the conduct of business itself. I will not go in detail because the report before it is published is confidential. We and other delegations expressed concern on the regular leaks of the Committee’s information into the press. You can look it up in the Internet. We requested to investigate it through the Committee. But some members are not very willing to do so. But we will pursue this issue individually. We agreed that we will consult with the Chair of 1718 Committee on how we will proceed in the coming days since, as we said, many of the concerns that we expressed during the meeting of the Sanctions Committee earlier and in recent months we’re not taken it into account. That’s why the quarterly report of the 1718 Committee is on hold.
Q.: Why do you object that the press will know about it?
A.: Because it is still confidential it is published.
Q.: On Lebanon, Mr. Ambassador. How do you see the discussion on the resolution?
A.: Which resolution?
Q.: UNIFIL, the renewal of the mandate.
A.: The resolution was adopted today.
Q.: Yes. But do you think that the UNIFIL should have less maritime force or the same level maritime force?
A.: Look, this is an issue of the Lebanese government primarily. We should strengthen the Lebanese army and navy because no UNIFIL can replace Lebanon itself. We agreed to vote in favor of the resolution because that is our the wish of the receiving country.
Q.: So you think that the ultimate goal should be that the Lebanese army should take over?
A.: Eventually, yes, of course.
Q.: Could you specify which part Russia was unsatisfied with in the mid-term report?
A.: There are a number of issues. But, as I said, as it is still confidential, I don’t want to be a source of a leak myself against which I protested.
Q.: How the investigation of leaks from the Committee is going?
A.: It is not going anywhere as the request was not addressed to the Secretariat by the Committee because of objections (not even objections, but the excessive demands) in the request from certain parties. We will pursue this issue by ourselves. We think that these leaks are inadmissible. They are against the principles of the work of the Committee. The facts, the data that one or other country transfers to the Committee may be compromised.
Q.: Which parties did object it?
A.: Guess yourself.