Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the 11th emergency special session of the General Assembly before the vote on draft resolution "Territorial integrity of Ukraine: defending the principles of the Charter of the United Nations"


At the meeting on 10 October, we already provided a clarification of reasons that led up to the referenda in the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. The final results of the vote were announced on 28 September. The sweeping majority of those who voted at the referenda supported accession of their respective regions to Russia: 99% in the DPR, 98% in the LPR, 93% in the Zaporozhye region, 87% in the Kherson region. Despite the complicated security situation and provocations of the Kiev regime, the overwhelming majority of those eligible to vote decided to cast a ballot – from 76 % in the Kherson region up to 97% in the DPR. The results of the vote are self-explanatory: the population of those areas does not want to get back to Ukraine and made a free and conscious choice in favor of our country.

The referenda were held in full compliance with the norms and principles of the international law, no matter how hard our Western opponents or even the Secretary-General (who all of a sudden decided to speak on behalf of the entire United Nations in the absence of such mandate) try to prove the opposite. More than 100 international observers from Germany, Italy, Venezuela, Latvia, and other states, who monitored the voting, also recognized the results to be legitimate.

However today the General Assembly is supposed to take action on a politicized and clearly provocative draft resolution which not only ignores the above facts, but also bears a confrontational charge which may undermine any efforts to facilitate a diplomatic settlement of the crisis around Ukraine. Despite its title, this document has nothing to do with protection of the international law and principles of the UN Charter. When introducing this draft, Western states pursue their own geopolitical tasks and again try to use the General Assembly membership as “background extras”.

Proclaimed commitment to safeguarding the international law that we heard today from representatives of the US and NATO states was a clear manifestation of hypocrisy and double standards. Rather indicatively, they even abstained from mentioning their favorite brainchild, the “rules-based order” for a while.

Let’s turn to Kosovo’s case. The most eloquent critics of the referenda were among the first to support Kosovo’s independence. They insisted that Kosovo had the right to a remedial secession. It was the official legal position of the West, which they expressed in written submissions to the International Court of Justice, as it was preparing an advisory opinion upon request of the General Assembly in 2008, even though by that moment Kosovar Albanians had not been imposed to any threats for a long time.  Yugoslavia did not exist any more, and in Serbia which was devastated by NATO states, foreign contingents were deployed in place of peacekeepers. No referendum was deemed necessary in Kosovo – only a unilateral declaration of independence, adopted ultra vires by provisional self-government body. But it was enough for the West to recognize Kosovo's independence. They used to say the international law did not prohibit declaring independence. What do they say today? They say Kosovo is different. So NATO was prepared to save Kosovar Albanians from threats that did not exist at that moment. But when it comes to the residents of Donbas, Kherson, and Zaporozhye, those are regarded as “second-class” people, whose extermination by the Kiev regime is no concern of the civilized West, because those regions dare to support Russia.   

Or let’s look at Washington that criticizes us more than others do and keeps crying out about the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Lately, we heard the US capital claim ready to use force to protect Taiwan, which is an inalienable part of China. So clearly, to the US and NATO there is no such thing as the “sacred” principle of territorial integrity. They only promote it when it meets their interests.

The draft resolution under consideration today is riddled with these ugly double standards that the West ventures to impose. And now the sponsors of the draft want the General Assembly to subscribe to those double standards. They quote remarks of the Secretary-General, even though there is no such practice during the elaboration of UNGA resolutions, because SG’s statements do not represent the opinion of member states. But even if we put this aside, we have never seen our Western colleagues pay as much attention to other statements by the Secretary-General, where he calls to resolve conflicts in other parts of the globe (i.a. unleashed by Western countries), where women and children die and economies break down. In particular, they ignore the SG’s call to abstain from illegal unilateral economic sanctions. The West remains completely deaf to the problems of the “global South” and calls to address them, but at the same time pulls all strings to propel the story around Ukraine – not for the sake of Ukraine’s prosperity though, but rather to try and hurt Russia.

The draft resolution in front of us provides some selective quotes from the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States, but does not say a word about the right to self-determination that opened the path towards decolonization thanks to which many of those who are present here today received an opportunity to have a seat on the General Assembly. Today  they try to make you forget that the West was up against this process, while the Soviet Union facilitated it.

In the recent days we have seen the West, driven by neo-colonial instincts, launch an unprecedented large-scale blackmailing and arms-twisting campaign with regard to developing states in order to make them support the anti-Russian draft resolution. The campaigning took place in Washington. At the same time, teams of political emissaries from the United States and its allies were literally besieging the capitals of non-alignment movement states and threatening them with reprisals for “disobedience”. This story even made it to the leading Western media. “Politico” cited some sources in the State Department, which clearly demonstrated the real attitude of Washington and other Western countries to the voices of developing states. According to them, when it comes to voting on an anti-Russian draft resolution in the GA, "every Fiji counts, every Palau counts”. How do representatives of Fiji and Palau like such words, I wonder? These are classical methods that slave-owners and colonizers would employ, who are used to seeing the world through the lens of colonialism. I will tell you frankly that in the recent days, we have been approached by quite a few colleagues representing the “global South”, who said that they had been subjected to economic blackmail and direct threats from Americans and Europeans. So it is clear that whatever the result of the vote, we will need to view it while being mindful of this unprecedented Western blackmailing campaign in the General Assembly.  There is and there can be no place for such methods in the United Nations.

Today we have gathered at a truly historical meeting. Here and now, the United States and its satellites are teaching us a lesson of “desovereignization”.

We regret that corrupt Western blackmailers who tried to tear out the voices of developing states were joined by the President of the General Assembly, whose procedural ploy on 10 October, the first day of the resumed special session, not only deprived member states of the opportunity to vote by a secret ballot without coercion, but also gave the blackmailers more time for their manipulations. I hope that despite all this, there will be enough delegations in this hall who will be ready to oppose the Western dictation and vote independently, not being scared of the eye of the “Big Brother”.  

We call on the member states to look into this situation without bias and vote against the proposed draft resolution.

Thank you.