Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Remarks by Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, following UNSC meeting on the aggression of the USA and its allies against Syria

Q.: The Syrian government, your ally, was attacked by the US, the UK and France. Will there be any practical political or military reaction?

A.: This is the practical political and diplomatic reaction.

Q.: Will there be any further steps?

A.: This is a question that should be addressed to the appropriate authorities. We had a briefing of our Ministry of Defense today. It will tell you more than I can.

Q.: What will Russia do with the France-US-UK draft that is coming up for an accountability mechanism?

A.: We are in the environment now which is very sad, not very productive for any rapprochement. First, we have to sort out the dangerous political and military situation we are in now. We all hope that they will refrain from any further escalation of this situation. Than we can come to discuss anything else. But whatever has happened this time it has been a blow to political settlement itself.

Q.: What will be the next step for Russia in the Security Council?

A.: So far we live in the regular schedule. There won’t be any further extraordinary steps. We had them five times this week. I think that’s enough.

Q.: You told us before that you don’t exclude war. That it’s always possible. After what happened last night are you worried more than the other day? Do you think that the chances have increased?

A.: You didn’t hear me very well yesterday. I said that it is a concern that the situation might go in an unpredictable direction. I hope that the hotheads will cool down and than we can gradually rebuilt what was destroyed.

Q.: Do you have any update about the OPCW team?

A.: They should be starting their work today, as far as I know. We and other countries are interested in this work to start as soon as possible. I don’t know the details for now.

Q.: Do you have any information on Russian assets or Russian individuals hurt in the attack?

A.: In the briefing that the Defense Ministry provided they said that there were no Russians or Russian assets involved. But as I understand that should be confirmed.

Q.: The Pentagon spokesperson said that Sochi failed and this is the time to go back to Geneva. Do you have any comments on that?

A.: Maybe that was his wishful thinking that he wanted to share a long time ago.

Q.: What about the vote?

A.: We are not telling anyone how to vote. It’s their sovereign decision which they should take. We do it on a matter of principal, so we take it as it is.