Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the situation in Afghanistan


We thank SRSG Otunbayeva for sharing her assessments of the situation in Afghanistan. Russia supports the activities that UNAMA carries out under your lead within the scope of the Mission’s relevant mandate. We note the interest of Kabul in preserving and developing contacts with you. We welcome United Nations' unwavering commitment to maintaining its presence in Afghanistan and rendering the required assistance to its people.

We listened carefully to the remarks of civil society briefer, Ms. Fatima Gailani. We are gratified that regional states have been given the floor at this meeting.

We have taken note of the Secretary-General’s report on Afghanistan and would like to make the following points.

Two and a half years ago, after the irresponsible withdrawal of foreign troops and the disgraceful flight of former President A. Ghani and his office, the Taliban Movement came to power in Afghanistan. Before that, the US and the Taliban signed a behind-the-scenes "deal" in Doha on February 29, 2020. As a result, the de facto authorities got a country with a lot of problems and challenges that had piled up over the years of war. After 20 years of complete dependence on international contributions, Afghanistan found itself in a situation of financial "famine", under unprecedented unilateral sanctions and but a step away from a humanitarian and economic collapse. However, contrary to the gloomy forecasts and expectations of our Western colleagues, it has not descended into another civil war or turned into a "black hole". At the same time, it is obvious that, despite the efforts made, under the current conditions it will be hard for Afghanistan to embark on the quick path of development, solve all the long-standing problems and meet all the new challenges at once and all by itself. The Afghans need our assistance and full support now more than ever.


We are convinced that there is no alternative to a realistic and comprehensive approach to Afghanistan based on objective analysis and a balanced assessment of the situation and prospects for a settlement. This approach implies both constructive engagement of the international community (given proper account for the needs of the Afghans), and pragmatic dialogue with the de facto authorities on a wide range of pressing problems, free of pressure or blackmail. Ensuring sustainable peace and stability in the country is a must, as this is the key to stability in the region and beyond. Participants of the Moscow format adhere to the same approach.

Over the past period, Talibs have repeatedly shown interest in developing broad pragmatic cooperation, strengthening regional cooperation and increasing contacts with various international stakeholders, including those acting under the auspices of the United Nations. However, it is hardly possible to make progress at this track if the reciprocal steps of the international community depend on the approval of a number of Western donors who pursue narrow self-interests. The UN itself will hardly benefit from such actions. We trust that the relevant conclusions will be made in preparation for the next meeting of the Special Representatives on Afghanistan in Doha.

We share some of the Secretary-General's assessments of the situation in the country. We remain particularly concerned about the security risks caused by the terrorist activities of ISIL-Khorasan and associated foreign terrorist fighters. We note the efforts that are being made by the de facto authorities to curb the problem. However, in the absence of the necessary capacities, this problem can hardly be resolved completely. Over the years of the US and NATO’s military presence, the group has firmly consolidated its position in the country and established strong links with other terrorist organizations, receiving support from the outside. ISIL fighters change their tactics from time to time and focus on recruiting in an effort to bring new supporters to their ranks. Their goal is clear. They seek to undermine stability in Afghanistan and its neighbor-states. Given the amount of weapons that Western troops had left behind in Afghanistan, the threat of them falling into the hands of militants and spreading across the region and beyond is becoming quite real.

Closely linked to terrorism is the drug problem. There is a need to step up comprehensive international and regional assistance in eradicating this threat, including through UNODC. Consistency in these actions remains an imperative. Production of synthetic drugs is another matter of concern.

We closely follow the development of the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in Afghanistan. We note the efforts of the United Nations and regional organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to the country. We commend the contribution of humanitarian agencies and their personnel, who are ready to remain on the ground and help Afghans under any circumstances. However, it is obvious that those measures are not enough. Attempts by certain Western countries to reduce their aid, putting forward some pre-conditions, cannot withstand any criticism. As a result, the financing of the UN humanitarian plan for Afghanistan is jeopardized for the second year in a row. It is necessary to stop politicizing humanitarian aid, unfreeze assets and expand assistance aimed at subsequent economic recovery and development of Afghanistan.

Our focus is on the rights of all Afghans in general, including the universal rights of women and girls (and their socio-economic rights to education and work), and the formation of a truly inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic and political groups in the country. We look forward to seeing positive dynamics at both tracks.


The Russian Federation fully supports the aspiration and the right of the Afghan people to live in peace and stability. Order in the region also depends on that. However, building that long-term and sustainable peace is impossible without interaction with the de facto authorities on a wide range of issues. There are no alternatives to that path. This will determine how fast Afghanistan will be able to resolve the current impasse and reintegrate in global affairs.

We believe that observance of the comprehensive approach will also facilitate effective implementation by UNAMA of its mandated tasks. We support the forthcoming renewal of UNAMA’s mandate.

Thank you.

Video of the statement