Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement and right of reply by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC meeting on western arms supplies to Ukraine

Mr. President, 

First of all, let me express my sincere condolences to the United Kingdom and the people of this country following the passing of the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. 

We thank Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu and Ms. Dragana Trifković for their briefings. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hear part of Ms. Dragana Trifković's statement, but we hope that she will circulate among the members of the Security Council later.

Mr. President, 

During the time that has elapsed since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine, we have discussed various aspects of the situation in that country. The Western members of the Council and Russia have different views on the origins of the Ukrainian crisis, as well as on the transformations that have taken place in this country since the anti-constitutional coup in February 2014. In case of our former Western partners it is completely clear that they are trying at all costs to evade responsibility for the steady deterioration of the independent Ukraine towards developing strong anti-Russian sentiments, ignoring the 8 long years of incessant shelling of the people of Donbas by the Kiev regime and covering up the unwillingness of the Ukrainian authorities to implement the Minsk agreements. 

At the same time, the majority of UN members are becoming increasingly convinced of the multifaceted nature of the Ukrainian crisis, they understand that it is useless to search for its root causes in simplified Western schemes proving Russia's guilt. That explains the desire of these UN members, first and foremost, to secure a cessation of hostilities and search for solutions at the negotiating table. We regularly hear calls for peace from our colleagues in developing countries. Today we suggest analyzing together the factors that impede the realization of those wishes. 

We launched our special operation to protect the people of Donbas in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter after the Kiev regime, with the approval of its Western sponsors, publicly put an end to the Minsk process. It was a difficult but necessary decision, made after it became obvious that Ukraine's military campaign against the DPR and LPR was inevitable. The documents of the Ukrainian General Staff that were found during the special military operation confirm that. The special military operation is also aimed at the de-Nazification and demilitarization of Ukraine so that it could no longer pose a threat to either the Donbas or Russia.

As you all know, just one month after the start of the special military operation, participants to the Russia-Ukraine talks practically negotiated the outlines of future peace agreements. Peace seemed so close that Russia, as a goodwill gesture, withdrew troops from the occupied regions of Kiev, Chernigov and Sumy regions. It was up to the authorities in Kiev to say the word, and they were ready to do so, but then our former Western partners, for whom this scenario was disadvantageous, intervened in the process. I am referring, first of all, to London and Washington that are giving orders to NATO. 

In fact, since the illegal Maidan coup, Ukraine has been of interest to them solely as a pawn in the geopolitical struggle to weaken Russia. Therefore, a peaceful scenario would not satisfy either the UK or the US. Envoys that traveled to Kiev managed to convince Mr. Zelensky and his team that the West was ready to do everything for Ukraine's victory, except for direct military intervention. They came up with slogans that the fate of world democracy would be decided in Ukrainein the clash between good and evil. The EU’s chief diplomat, Mr. Borrell, in complete disregard of diplomacy, told then that "this war will be won on the battlefield." In their usual Russophobic frenzy, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic countries were hysterical, and the now-retired Boris Johnson was far more engaged in inciting Ukraine than dealing with the problems of his country. President Biden was also encouraging Kiev. As you all know, President Zelensky then disavowed all the agreements, staged a blatant provocation in Bucha together with the British special services, and the chance for peace was lost. Thus, the Ukrainian president made a fatal mistake for his country. But instead of this today we would rather talk about the role of our Western colleagues, who from that moment launched the largest in history war by proxy with Russia using Ukrainians and ready to go “until the last Ukrainian”. 

Let's analyze what is happening today. NATO actually directly guides the actions of Kiev in the theater of operations. Representatives of Ukrainian military intelligence have publicly acknowledged that Washington is directly involved in coordinating every target of the multiple-launch rockets of the US High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). Ukraine is awash with Western military trainers, special operatives and mercenaries. A number of NATO countries conduct training courses for Ukrainian armed units. At one of the previous meetings we mentioned a military base in the Czech city of Cesky Krumlov used to train saboteurs who were supposed to carry out a terrorist attack on the territory of the DPR. There is information that the Pentagon is planning to launch a military-technical assistance mission to the Kiev regime. We heard about similar plans of the European Union.

According to the most conservative expert estimates, the United States and its allies spent a total of about $20 billion on military support for Ukraine in the past months of this year alone. According to US media, the Biden administration intends to request emergency funding of another $20 billion, and this is only for the first quarter of 2023. Ukrainians are consistently assured with the idea that with modern Western weapons, a kind of "Wunderwaffe", they can turn the tide of the military campaign and defeat Russia. We will not comment on these beautiful but empty tales, enough to say that the consequences of this mass brainwashing of the population by President Zelensky and his associates are very deplorable for Ukraine, and now we are still far from the end of this self-destructive process. I want to say right away that Western weapons do not play a decisive role on the battlefield, no matter how much our former partners and their Ukrainian vassals claim the opposite. With minimal risk to its soldiers and civilians, the Russian army is gradually and methodically destroying not only obsolete Soviet-style weapons, which Eastern European countries were glad to get rid of, but also modern NATO weapons. The only difference is that, having received long-range NATO artillery and missile systems, coupled with Western intelligence, the Kiev regime began to hit civilian targets and infrastructure facilities that it was unable to reach before. Hence the massacre in Yelenovka, and the incessant shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, as well as residential areas of the cities of Donbas.

By loading Ukraine with weapons that are actively being used by the Ukrainian armed forces against civilian targets, the EU countries violated their own intra-EU rules (the so-called “Common Position”), which prohibit issuing licenses to export weapons if this creates obvious risks of violating international humanitarian law, and also require that the risks of uncoordinated re-export of weapons and its illegal trafficking be taken into consideration. 

Similarly, the EU States have disregarded the provisions of their other “brainchild”, the International Arms Trade Treaty, which requires each exporting State to assess in an objective and non-discriminatory manner whether the arms transferred would cause damage to peace and security and whether their use would violate international humanitarian law. The treaty expressly prohibits a State from authorizing the transfer of conventional weapons if it knows with certainty that they will be used to commit acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, attacks on civilian objects or civilians. 

In order to scrounge for new weapons, especially on the eve of today's meeting of NATO Defense Ministers in Ramstein, the Zelensky regime tried to create at least the appearance that Ukraine could attack. Contrary to the elementary principles of military strategy, Ukrainian propagandists in the highest echelons of power openly shared with the world community plans for an offensive to regain the lost territories, which was eagerly relayed by the Ukrainian and Western media. As far as we can tell, even the leadership of the Ukranian armed forces opposed this madness, but the head of Ukraine, after talking with his American and British colleagues, was adamant. As a result, the fields near Nikolaev and Zaporozhye and the forests near Kharkov are strewn with corpses of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers who were sent to certain death and who prevented from retreating by the rearguard. Several peripheral villages have been captured, which was nothing akin to a breakthrough. The military experts understand that very well. But the Western media have already heralded that Ukraine has entered into a counter-offensive that must be supported with a new supply of Western weapons. Thus, the necessary media backdrop was created for the meeting in Ramstein. This is exactly what Mr. Zelensky and his Western sponsors wanted. And this means that there is every chance that more fuel will continue to be poured on the fire of the Ukrainian conflict in the form of further deliveries of Western weapons.

Will that change the situation on the battlefield? It will not in any significant way, which most military experts openly agree on. The new supply of weapons will not be able to change the balance of power, but they will prolong the agony of the Zelensky regime and delay its inglorious demise. It will also prolong the sufferings of the Ukrainian people, sacrificed by the West in its geopolitical struggle with Russia. And, of course, it can put off the prospects for establishing peace in Ukraine, which is what the absolute majority of United Nations members want, with the exception of the Western camp. 

Distinguished Colleagues,

Let's see who benefits from this scenario. By a strange coincidence, the main beneficiaries are precisely those who beat the drums of war the loudest - the United States and Great Britain. Their defense companies are making huge profits, the price of their stocks is growing at a breathtaking rate. It is clear that the US and British arms lobbies are not ready to give up such huge profits and they will only increase their pressure on politicians. In addition, Ukraine is not only a huge platform for the disposal of obsolete NATO weapons, but also a testing ground for new ones, as well as advertising weapons for export. It isnot in the interest of the West to lose such an opportunity. Therefore, it would be naive to believe that Washington and London will soon change their inflammatory rhetoric. 

What consequences and risks does this situation entail for the world and, above all, for Europe? The immediate ones are the spread of weapons resold by corrupt Ukrainian officials and their falling into the hands of terrorist and criminal groups. The Secretary General of INTERPOL, Jürgen Stock, warned about the high level of interest that organized crime has shown in the spill over of weapons from Ukraine into the black market. 

This threat is so great that the Security Service of Ukraine has already begun to suggest the possibility that Russia is moving Western weapons into Europe. That means that the situation is already out of control. 

Western military leaders already openly admit that they are unable to trace the end user of their weapons. However, it must know that corrupt Ukrainian officials have established channels for for supplying the black market with Western-made weapons. A significant part of it falls into the hands of smugglers directly from warehouses. Offers for their sale are openly published on the “darknet”.

We have seen this in the recent past in the Balkans and the Middle East, when Western military arsenals were subsequently clandestinely re-exported to Europe and used by criminal groups on its territory or fell into the hands of terrorists. 

Unfortunately, the leadership of Western countries did not learn any lessons from this and is now turning Ukraine into a world hub for illegal weapons supplies that may very soon be used by terrorists in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. 

The proliferation of man-portable air defence systems (MANPADs) and man-portable anti-tank systems (MANPATs) poses a particular threat. Those types of weapons pose enormous risks to international civil aviation and rail transport. That is why its circulation is strictly regulated at the international level. NATO countries are well aware of this. In the 2000s, the Alliance spent a considerable sum of money to destroy excess MANPADS components in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro and several other countries as part of the Partnership for Peace program. The United States, having realized the danger of the MANPADS they delivered to Afghanistan in the 1980s, also went at great length to buy back these systems. Now, Western countries have forgotten about this and, seeking to arm Kiev at any cost, they are violating all international obligations regarding the circulation of MANPADS and ATGMs, including those agreed by the General Assembly and in the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.

An indirect confrontation between NATO and Russia objectively increases the risk of a direct clash between Russia and the Alliance, regardless of how much NATO claims to be doing everything it can to prevent such a scenario. We were groundlessly accused of nuclear blackmail, and the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss openly confirmed her readiness to use nuclear weapons, to press the nuclear button. Before her, no one had uttered such irresponsible words. 

Have NATO members already crossed the red lines? In 2020, US presidential candidate Joe Biden tried to accuse Russia of having crossed the red lines merely on the basis of speculation in the New York Times that Russia allegedly secretly paid the Taliban for the assassination of American soldiers in Afghanistan. British parliamentarians then stated that a permanent member of the UN Security Council should not supply weapons and train the very militants who did not allow a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan. According to these criteria, Western countries have crossed the red lines long ago and more than once.

Distinguished colleagues from developing countries, 

We have requested for today's meeting precisely to make you aware of the cynicism and falseness of the calls for peace from the states of the collective West, as well as their appeals for us to stop our alleged war of choice. Having created a neo-Nazi hornet's nest near our borders and supporting the war of the Kiev regime against the population of Donbas since 2014, they left no choice. As President Vladimir Putin said: we did not start this war, we are ending it. That is, we are ending the war that the Ukrainian regime, with the support of Western sponsors, began in 2014 against its own people. Our former Western partners have a choice - to continue to supply weapons to the conflict zone, contrary to all international norms and their own declared principles, encouraging Ukrainians with unrealistic calls to defeat Russia on the battlefield, or to force the Zelensky regime to sit down at the negotiating table and try to eliminate the reasons that prompted us launch the special military operation. All these reasons lie either in the actions of Ukraine or in the actions of the West. 

Unfortunately, we do not have faith in the good sense of Western countries. They have repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to commit any crime and engage in any adventure in order to ensure the well-being of the so-called golden billion, maintain their dominance in the world and pursue the neo-colonial policy. And the realization that the world has changed irrevocably after February 24 only strengthens their determination to fight to the last Ukrainian. However, we do have faith in the good reason of the developing world, the states of Asia, Africa and Latin America. And we count on you to manifest it in the interests of not only your countries, but of all mankind. 

Thank you.


Right of reply: 

Mr. President, 

Today, our Western colleagues had no substantial comments on the topic, since the facts confirm their not only indirect, but also direct participation in this proxy war. Therefore, they resorted to their favorite tactic of shifting the focus from the topic of the meeting to the sickeningly familiar accusations against Russia. 

We will not comment on the speculations of our US and British colleagues about filtration camps, tortures of Ukrainians and the cruelty of the Russian army, we have done this many times, including yesterday. But we have taken note of the statement of Kiev's Western sponsors that they are only supplying them with defensive weapons. Only from this “defensive weapon” Ukrainian armed forces fire not at the Russian military, but at peaceful neighborhoods of the cities of Donbas. 

We also noted another point in the speech - the dogmatic statement of the United States and Great Britain that Russia allegedly buys weapons from Iran and North Korea. Now I would like to ask them to either provide evidence or admit the dissemination of unreliable information within the walls of the Security Council. I want to say right away that publications in the Western media, or meaningful comments, and unconvincing and non-assertive assumptions of US officials do not count as such evidence. Although, as we have repeatedly said, recently we stopped being surprised at anything. Today, any media message of our Western partners almost automatically takes the form of a prosecutor's accusation. 

Thank you.