Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on weapons deliveries to Ukraine
It will not be an overstatement if I say that since our last meeting on Western arms deliveries to Ukraine in December, the demand for a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis has increased significantly among UN member states and among the global community at large. Although this is not noticeable in the Security Council chamber today. For some reason, EU states did not request to participate, though they seldom miss this opportunity to make an appearance on national television. Apparently, the issue of peace is of no interest to them. We have just heard a poignant analysis of the current situation by Mr.Roger Waters, one of the prominent activists of the modern anti-war movement. Over the past few decades, Mr.Waters has strongly spoken out against wars and violence. This motif is heard in his world-famous songs. The fact that he was willing to address the Council testifies to the extreme concern of the international creative community and broader audience about what this world is coming to.
In our opinion, Mr.Waters and his colleagues have every reason to be concerned. And it's not even about the confessions of politicians like German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock that NATO is at war with Russia. This is really so. And not about the new calls of a number of Russophobic politicians to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, which, as we all understand, Ukraine is not capable of doing on its own. The problem is that all levers that can influence the search for a peaceful solution to the conflict around Ukraine are concentrated in the hands of Western arms companies and military corporations. And those, as one may guess, are the last to want peace.
In December 2022, the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States hosted a reception in honor of the 31st anniversary of the UAF. Logos of 4 American military contractors Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Pratt & Whitney, and Lockheed Martin were emblazoned on the invitations (copies were leaked to the Internet) as the event’s sponsors.
What makes the Ukrainian state so obliged to these private arms traders? Artillery munition, Stinger air-defense systems, and the notorious HIMARS. Thanks to an uninterrupted supply and recurrent orders, in the last three months of 2022 alone, shares of these corporations grew by more than 20%.
Besides, American dealers now have a real site, where at the cost of Ukrainian and Russian lives new arms types are tested, modified and improved. No gunsmith can let go of such money and opportunity, can they?
Besides, billions of USDs that are donated to Ukraine do not even leave the United States. The money goes directly to contractors from military corporations, said shortly Robert Kennedy Jr, a lawyer, politician, and nephew to JFK. The situation is approximately the same with other major arms suppliers. In other words, Western states discovered a pretext for boosting their military budgets and profits of their defense industry. At the end of the day, Ukraine usually receives dated equipment that then gets in the grinding gear of the Russian forces, NATO countries modernize their military, and Western defense enterprises reap super-profits, while lulling and hushing the taxpayers with the so-called need to save Ukraine. Whereas Poland and the Czech Republic turn into a huge repair works and, as reported by Wall Street Journal, also receive huge incomes.
Former neutral states keep in step. The year 2022 was one of the most profitable for the Swiss military industry. In the first six months alone, the export stood at 517 million Swiss francs. In order not to miss such income and build upon it, the parliament of this country is considering an initiative to allow third countries to re-export Swiss-made weapons 5 years after the initial purchase.
In this “rush for profits”, the Swiss do not fall behind their predecessors from 80 years ago, when the Third Reich and militarist Japan were equipped with Swiss-made air defense systems and Oerlikon guns and had an uninterrupted supply of ammunition to them. Quite a pragmatic neutrality, I must say.
To cut long story short, there is a business plan where Ukraine plays the role of a private military company. The task of our former Western partners is to make it last as long as it can in this capacity, no matter the losses among the UAF.
Colleagues, I will leave out the moral aspect of the story. Unfortunately, the collective West has neither any morality left nor any conscience. What can we talk about if the regime in Kiev is a pet project of some Western countries that have been working on it at least since 2014 with a concrete geopolitical purpose, which is to weaken and undermine Russia.
Also, I would not want for anyone to reduce my statement to just a call to stop the flow Western weapons before it is too late. Of course, this is important, first of all for Ukraine itself, but we understand perfectly well that unless the Kiev regime goes completely broke on the battlefield, this flow is not going to stop. Over the year that has passed since the beginning of our special military operation, we have destroyed more than 7,500 tanks that were either Ukraine’s own or supplied by the West. So further 100 or 200, or even 300 tanks are not going to have much clout.
Let me stress again that the West is directly involved in the Ukrainian conflict not only because they provide arms and intelligence data, but also because they send military personnel and mercenaries, without whom Kiev would be simply unable to operate much of the equipment it receives. And the most Russophobic capitals that had lost all connection to reality long before our SMO even call to deploy NATO troops in Ukraine or use NATO's border infrastructure for operations against us and our allies.
Today I will not dwell on the spread of resold Ukrainian weapons around the world – we have already discussed this in detail. Now there are active attempts to "sweep under the carpet" these plots so as not to disturb the Western audience. But this does not mean that the problem has been solved, far from that! It is expanding and assuming new uglier proportions. Suffice it to recall the words of the President of Nigeria that weapons from Ukraine often ended up in the hands of terrorist groups in the Sahel.
I will just remind that Western contributors of long-range artillery are responsible for deaths of people from Donbas who live in the area that the UAF had not been able to reach with its strikes before. We keep record of all these facts. The perpetrators will not avoid accountability for these crimes. Let me also say about the shared responsibility of Kiev's Western sponsors for the inhumane methods that their protégés use during hostilities and blatant violations of the IHL, from tortures of POWs to placement of air-defense systems in residential quarters.
The other day, there was footage on Ukrainian news showing the use of toxic combat agents by the UAF, which was accompanied by bravura comments. Our competent bodies are looking into these reports at the moment. Though as recently as yesterday our former Western colleagues thumped their chests swearing that they would never let anyone use chemical weapons, we do not doubt that they will disregard this another war crime of Zelensky’s regime. This is the double standards of today’s West.
We are sure that in this meeting, our Western colleagues will be saying that they allegedly have no other choice but to help Ukraine defend itself. They will be saying that otherwise, Ukraine will suffer destruction and deukrainization, though we never had such goals. I hope that these allegations will not be able to mislead anyone, especially if we take into account the recent revelations of A.Merkel, F.Hollande, B.Johnson, and P.Poroshenko who admitted that Western states had been using the Minsk Agreement for eight years as a cover-up while arming Ukraine and preparing it for a war with Russia.
We will see to it that no threat to Russia, our allies, our Russian culture or the Russian language ever again comes from the Ukrainian territory. And we will see to it that Ukraine never again glorifies Hitler’s accomplices who exterminated hundreds of thousands of Jews, Russians, Poles, and Ukrainians. This is what should underlie any agreements, whereas Zelensky's so-called peace formulas are just a mockery of the very notion of a peace plan.
Right of reply by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy:
I just wanted to correct my Albanian colleague. In Russia, nothing will threaten Roger Waters. We respect the freedom of speech, unlike Western countries, who prohibit alternative opinions and pretend this is what freedom of speech should look like. Please be mindful that it was Russia who invited Mr.Rogers to speak today. Perhaps, in all this hustle, you mixed Russia for Ukraine, where Mr.Rogers is listed on the infamous Mirotvorets website, which brings together all those whom Ukrainian nationalists perceive as targets.
My American colleague spoke about winning the Cold War. May I remind that it was a shared victory that the United States somehow takes credit for. And this is the root cause of most problems of present-day world.