Remarks to the press by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations following the Security Council consultations on North Korea
Q: Ambassador, are you happy with the statement?
A: It is not something that makes you happy, because the reason for the statement is not a very festive thing. But yes, we made a statement, by the President of the Security Council condemning the recent launch, calling on DPRK to stop it and also, which is important, again reiterating the need for diplomatic and political solution of the crisis, an early one.
Q: What’s next for the provocations by North Korea? Will there be more sanctions?
A: You’re asking me? I am not sure I’m the right person to be asked about it. But we were discussing for a while that we’re in a vicious circle: we have a provocation, a resolution, then another provocation. And many people raised an issue that we need to think “out of the box” at a certain point. We again reiterated that at the moment there is nothing on the table but Russian-Chinese “road map” and statement from the July 4, which is so far the only political proposal. I said earlier to one of your colleagues that echoing this morning’s Secretary of State Tillerson’s statements, US delegation said that Russia and China should quickly implement the sanctions measures provided for in the resolution 2375, to which we replied that we are responsible members of the international community and we faithfully implement resolutions that we adopt in the Security Council. But this resolution also provides for political measures that should be implemented equally, and in that sense, we called on our US partners and others to implement political and diplomatic solutions that are provided for in the resolution. And new implementation of these provision is not-full implementation of the resolution.
Q: What progress do you think can be made next week on North Korea? And are you considering putting forward your own resolution on North Korea?
A: We were considering what elements we might include in the resolution that would be on the political side, I would say. One way or the other, we are including them in the resolutions. We’ve been including them in the resolutions that are already adopted. We would possibly like more but we will see what happens. This issue will be discussed during the high level week. It will come up both in the debates and in meetings during upcoming week.
Q: What movement or action would you like to hear from the United States on North Korea? You said you want them to implement the political track, what does that involve, what would you like them to do?
A: It is not what we what them to do, but we want the international community to do. First of all, we think that tests, launches and mutual threats should be stopped, and we should engage in meaningful negotiations. You might have heard that many serious American experts are saying that there’s no way but to sit at the table and come to thinking how to resume six-party talks. I think it was Madeleine Albright who was referring to it recently and some others as well. There is serious analysis in the American press on the issue which was published in the last few days in before we adopted the resolution 2375. I think many people around the world, including here, understand that there is no alternative to this in the end.
By the way, I see you gathering here in numbers, but only when we discuss North Korea. We discussed Africa recently; I didn’t see you at all.
Q: On Myanmar. Is Russia talking to the Myanmar military? What message you’re taking to them?
A: What do mean “We’re talking to the military”? We’re talking to the Myanmar government, of course. We have an Embassy there, we have a dialogue. We are talking to them, we are concerned with what is happening, we know how it all started and led to serious consequences including humanitarian ones, but you cannot discard the fact that it was triggered by terrorist activities within that region, and of course, we are looking forward to early cessation of both, violence and to relieving the humanitarian situation of the population.
Q: And my last question on Iran for the next week. “3+3” will meet with Iran on Wednesday. What message does Russia want to send to the United States?
A: Stay in the JCPOA. That’s right, you know.
Q: How important is that?
A: That’s very important, indeed. And I think that it is not only our message, but the other participants and those that are outside are also trying to send this message across.
Q: The UN Charter says that they must invite countries that are subject to the resolutions into the Security Council and essentially to the discussion and so essentially often that discussion does not happen at the Security Council but also there isn’t an invitation to them. And there has been an invitation 2010, there was an invitation and DPRK came. And so, there is a provision in the Charter that provides for the Security Council to function in a better way. And yet it’s avoided and ignored.
A: You may correct me, if I am wrong, but I think it is vice versa. It is the country which issue is discussed in the UNSC has the right to request to speak at the UNSC meeting when the issue under consideration concerns that country.
Q: Ambassador Nikki Haley said she is ready to kick this issue for Secretary J.Mattis, who has a lot of options. What do you think about this?
A: I haven’t seen this statement yet. Did she mean she wanted to empower Secretary J.Mattis to do diplomacy?
Q: Is this the end of diplomacy?
A: Hopefully not. I just came from the Security Council meeting where we tried to address the crisis. We have a high level week coming up and I’m sure that North Korea will be extensively discussed there in various formats. Let’s see what happens.