Remarks to the press by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations
Q: Ambassador, what is your position about what’s happening right now?
A: The issue is about meddling with the internal domestic affairs of Venezuela. Even the authors of this “Arria-formula” meeting, recognize that they are dealing with political scenarios. We wish Venezuela well. We wish them to settle their domestic issues peacefully, without any external interference, with the mediation that is being provided. We don’t think that the Security Council should be involved in this matter.
Q: On the JIM. Are you making any progress? Are you engaging with the US on their draft?
A: We are discussing their draft. We have our own draft.
Q: I know. Are you planning to put your own draft to the vote?
A: Let’s see how it will evolve in the coming days.
Q: So you are not negotiating with the US on the subject?
A: We are talking to the US; it is not over yet.
Q: Do you think an agreement can be reached?
A: We hope so. But let’s see.
Q: Will there be a vote this week?
A: We are not rushing anything but we are not responsible for anyone else.
Q: How important is it that the JIM be renewed?
A: It is important that the JIM is renewed but on the updated mandate because systemic errors that we saw with the recent report should be corrected. And that is the aim of our draft resolution.
Q: What would be the most important modification that would make to the JIM mandate?
A: There are plenty. Have you seen our resolution?
Q: What is the key thing?
A: The investigations that they will be conducting in the future should be on-site, the chain of custody should be preserved, evidence collected should be real, it should be guided by the highest standards that the OPCW provides which they did not follow. I just mentioned few.
Q: Ambassador, how would you prevent the US from hijacking the Security Council the way they did in Iraq, in Libya and in North Korea and as you know North Korean delegation sent a letter to the SG protesting the fact that they have been encircled and threatened by the US nuclear submarines. Will the Security Council take an action which it never has?
A: This is a question not to us but to those who are not ready to discuss it. But you know our position on North Korea. We want negotiations, we want diplomatic solution, but we are not happy about the violations of the Non-proliferation Treaty that North Korea, unfortunately, does.
Q: Ambassador, on Iran. Saudi Arabia and the US both accused Iran of violating two sanctions resolution (Yemen and Iran). The houthis fired an Iranian-made missile. Do you any action should be taken against Iran here in the Council over supplying accusations?
Q: I have not seen the label on the missile that was fired, first of all. Nobody raised the issue yet. I am not sure this is the case.
A: Ambassador, your French colleague said that if you don’t renew the JIM, it means that the whole non-proliferation efforts around the world will be effected, will send a really bad example… What do you see is at stake if there is no renewal on Thursday?
Q: It may send a bad signal but the way the investigation has been conducted sends even a worse signal.