Explanation of vote by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva after the UNSC vote on a draft resolution on renewal of mandate of MINUSCA
Russia abstained during the vote on a draft Security Council resolution on renewal of the mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) that was put forward by the delegation of France.
Despite some positive changes (most notably the long overdue step to move the task of facilitating state presence to the list of priorities), the text still retains elements that are outdated and no longer reflective of the situation in the country.
During the negotiations on the draft, we explained our concerns in a detailed and frank manner, both to the French authors of the document and to other Council members.
We regret to note that our attempts to upgrade the text to a compromise version that Russia could support floundered on the unwillingness of the French penholders to step back from their politicized approaches.
This found a clear manifestation in the strong rejection of any mention - factual by form and obvious in content - of the role of CAR's bilateral partners in stabilizing the country. At the same time, the French colleagues insisted on mentioning France as one of CAR's partners in helping to strengthen the national security bodies. We will take the liberty of assuming that this language is outdated and does not reflect the real situation. It also does not quite correlate with France's consistent long-standing position in favor of maintaining the arms embargo against the Central African Republic.
We also note that the lion's share of the misinformation and false information that global media, including French outlets, actively disseminate does not have to do with the activities of MINUSCA but rather with the host government and bilateral partners.
We underscore that Security Council resolutions must not be used to interfere in internal affairs of states. Many issues, including night flights, are to be resolved by the mission in close co-operation with the host country.
In conclusion, we should like to emphasize that Russia has consistently supported the activities of MINUSCA and its head, Valentine Rugwabiza. We intend to continue our constructive engagement with the Mission and our joint efforts for stabilization in the CAR in the interests of international peace and security.