Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia prior to the UN Security Council Vote on the US Draft Resolution on Venezuela

Mr. President,

We have finally come to a culmination of the American double standard show on Venezuela. One month ago and the day before yesterday, during the Council meetings, it became obvious, that the majority of countries in the Western hemisphere, notwithstanding their political views, believe that Venezuela’s problems should be solved by the Venezuelans on the basis of a dialogue. Nation-wide and inclusive dialogue is what Venezuela needs now. However, Washington persistently marches towards its goal to escalate tension and implement the scenario that envisages unconstitutional change of authority.

Let us have a look at the US draft resolution. What does Washington put to a vote of the UN Security Council today? Here it is. Recognize the Parliament (the National Assembly) of Venezuela as the country’s, I quote, “constitutional authority”. Recognize presidential elections that took place in March last year to have been “neither free nor fair” – though almost a year has passed since then. This is the reason why the US proposed its draft resolution. Hypocritical concerns about the humanitarian situation in the country is a mere pretext.

The US might have another goal as well – to go down in history. If this resolution were adopted, it would be the first case when the Security Council dismissed one president of a sovereign country and appointed another. I do not even touch upon the political aspect. This is not even about N.Maduro and J.Guaido.

Do you not understand that in legal terms it is null and void? Is this a subtle trolling or a mockery of the SC members? Those of you who plan to support the US draft, do you realize that you will become part of a legal theatre of absurd?

The US delegation cannot fail to understand that their resolution does not have a chance to be adopted. However, they intentionally table it in the Council in order to point fingers at those who allegedly impede “the establishment of democracy” in Venezuela. Now you deliberately undermine the Council’s unity. Is this really what you need? Our American colleagues seem to have forgotten what international law is. There are only ultimatums, sanctions, threats to use force left in your diplomatic toolbox.

We are fully aware of the fact that all of this has been initiated with the sole purpose: to accuse the countries who disagree, of hindering humanitarian aid deliveries to Venezuela. However, this is another instance of shameless propaganda. On February 26 we elaborated, that Russia and China could freely and without any impediment deliver humanitarian assistance to Venezuela. Only the US failed to do so, because it neglected the sovereignty and inviolability of national borders of a sovereign state. I said this the day before yesterday, I will repeat it today. If the US had really wanted to help the people of Venezuela, they would have acted via UN agencies accredited in the country. But this is not the goal. This is only a smokescreen. The goal is a regime change.

This is probably the most outspoken and the most straightforward case of implementation of the infamous concept of “humanitarian intervention”, which is an intervention that has humanitarian aspects and that is carried out under a humanitarian guise. This is the “rules based order” that our Western colleagues speak about and propose to us instead of the international law.

Therefore, we prepared an alternative draft resolution that would not stimulate political intrigues and regime change, but would envisage real help for the Venezuelans in their efforts to normalize the situation in the country.

We have highlighted that any international assistance should base on the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence and be effected only with consent of the legitimate government of the affected country. Besides, our document expresses support of international mediator efforts, including the Montevideo Mechanism that could help the Venezuelans come to what is the most important now – the political settlement. The American draft contains nothing of this sort, because it is not meant to solve problems.

Yesterday we held expert consultations on our draft. We listened to the opinions of the SC Member States, including the representatives of the US. We heard not a single specific comment. The Western experts only said that they would not work on our draft. Right thereafter the American colleagues put their draft to vote. Is this diplomacy? Is this search for compromise? This entire combination is merely propaganda publicity, dictated to a large extent by domestic political concerns. We regret that the Security Council is being dragged into this again.

We have serious concerns that today’s meeting might be used as another stage in preparing a real, not a humanitarian intervention on the pretext of “inability of the Security Council” to regulate the situation in Venezuela.

We would like again to address those Members of the SC who really want to help: do not encourage this political show. We call upon you to vote against the American draft resolution and to support our document that avoids any controversial wordings and is designed to provide real assistance to the Venezuelans – I mean international assistance and international mediation.