Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Right of Reply by Konstantin Vorontsov, Deputy Head of the Russian Delegation, at the General Debate in the First Committee of the 78th session of the UNGA

Mr. President,

In the context of the situation around Transnistria, we consider as absolutely unacceptable any attempts of the delegation of Moldova to cast a shadow on Russia’s peacekeeping efforts. Being committed to the political settlement process of the Transnistrian problem, the Russian Federation has been acting as co-mediator and guarantor in this process based on respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova (this formula is laid down in the preamble of the basic agreement between Russia and Moldova of November 19, 2001). Nonetheless, given the remaining deficit of political will on the part of Moldovan authorities to address problems related to the Transnistrian settlement, the dialogue between Chisinau and Tiraspol continues to degrade.

As for the Russian military presence on the left bank of the Dniester, the mandate of the current peacekeeping mission that has proved its efficiency over the past 30 years is far from being exhausted and clearly links the duration of our participation in the operation to reaching a political agreement on the conflict settlement. It is not in sight, so far. Today, peacekeepers are the only real factor guaranteeing peace and stability in the region.

Another reason for the presence of the Operational Group of Russian Forces in Transnistria, apart from supporting the Russian peacekeeping contingent as part of the joint peacekeeping force, is the need to guard the military materials depots. This is our responsibility. We do not retreat from our obligation regarding the withdrawal and disposal of these materials and stand ready to consider practical steps in this field after the situation in Ukraine has been resolved. It is of principled importance that all technical aspects of such works are determined exclusively in a bilateral format between the respective agencies of Russia and Moldova. 

Mr. President,

We equally reject the allegations against Russia, that are detached from reality, regarding the special military operation in Ukraine. Such insinuations have just one goal – to distract the attention from criminal actions of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Ukrainian authorities and their Western curators only draw attention to the losses and sufferings of one side, while blocking the information about victims and destructions in the territories of Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. Since February 2022, five thousand civilians, including almost 200 children, have died, and about the same number have been injured as a result of activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Accusations of “forced deportation of Ukrainian citizens” to Russia are speculations in an attempt to provide at least some explanation to the fact that millions of Ukrainians are fleeing to Russia to escape the crimes of the Kiev regime. According to the UNHCR, our country has received over 2.8 million refugees. In reality, these figures are much higher: about 5.5 million people have arrived to Russia since the beginning of the special military operation. For comparison: all EU member states have received a total of roughly 4 million Ukrainian refugees.

All these people have entered our country voluntarily, saving their own lives and the lives of their children. They receive assistance in finding accommodation and job, enrollment of their children in kindergartens and educational institutions, as well as receiving social benefits.

Thank you for your attention.

Video of the statement