Statement by Deputy Permaneny Representative Gennady Kuzmin during the briefing of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at the Security Council
We congratulate the delegation of Ghana on assuming the Presidency of the Council, and we thank Gabon for its successful Presidency in October.
We welcome the UN High Commissioner for Refugees F.Grandi and thank him for the briefing.
Assistance to refugees is a necessary component of comprehensive efforts aimed at maintaining international peace, security and stability.
Russia continues to take measures to maintain high standards and further develop mechanisms for providing assistance to persons seeking protection, in accordance with its international legal obligations, as well as the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees.
We attach great importance to the advancement of our cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as the main international body for solving problems in the field of forced migration. We believe the activities of the UNHCR are particularly important in situations of major humanitarian crises, and consider them as a significant element of comprehensive measures to resolve such crises.
The expanding geography of conflicts, poverty, economic inequality continue to cause the exodus of population from their countries of origin. The reasons for such negative phenomena often lie in the irresponsible policy of Western states that have acquired the taste for propagating their dictation and carrying out geopolitical experiments on weaker countries. They plundered the resources of African states and strangled their economic independence, destroyed the statehood of Libya by military force, occupied a part of Syria, left Afghanistan to sink or swim while having seized, or rather stolen its national assets. All these countries and regions are centers of mass migration.
We draw attention to the importance of continued efforts to facilitate voluntary return of Syrian refugees. Russia's initiative to promote voluntary repatriation of Syrian forced migrants remains relevant. Ensuring favorable conditions for the return of refugees and IDPs to their places of permanent residence as an overriding priority and an important step towards achieving long-term stabilization in Syria. We call on the UNHCR to continue to support the implementation of the initiative for the voluntary return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.
We note the efforts of the High Commissioner to address the problems of Ukrainian refugees and IDPs.
A number of our colleagues today made a special emphasis on the situation with refugees from Ukraine. As you all know, the Ukrainian crisis has entered a “hot phase” primarily because of the unwillingness of the Kiev authorities, encouraged by Western sponsors, to implement the Minsk Agreements. For 8 years, the incessant shelling of the peaceful cities of Donbas by the Ukrainian armed forces led to a mass exodus of residents of these territories to Russia. This process accelerated after the Kiev regime sharply intensified the shelling of Donbas before the beginning of our special military operation.
More than 4.5 million people, including 688,000 children, have found refuge in Russia. All these people left for our country voluntarily, saving their lives and the lives of their loved ones from the Kiev regime.
The Russian side is making every effort to receive and accommodate these persons, and provide them with comprehensive assistance, i.a. with employment, places in kindergartens and educational institutions for children, social payments and benefits. Those who arrive from these territories receive free medical care and examination, as well as medicines. They are entitled to enroll in simplified procedures in order to settle their legal status on the territory of the Russian Federation.
They are also granted the right to work in Russia without obtaining work permits or patents and can apply for a one-time financial assistance and monthly material benefits. Our migration and social mechanisms have made it possible to fully resolve issues related to the reception and accommodation of internally displaced persons from the DPR, LPR, and Ukraine, and contribute to their further integration.
Employees of the UNHCR Office in Moscow regularly visit temporary accommodation centers for IDPs in various Russian regions and note the effectiveness of our efforts to ensure decent living conditions for these persons in Russia.
For its part, Russia will continue to provide our comprehensive support to the UNHCR.