Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing dedicated to the anniversary of resolution 2202 that endorsed the Minsk Package of Measures
On this day eight years ago, 17 February 2015, the Security Council adopted resolution 2202 that endorsed the Package of measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements and thus made those agreements the only valid legal basis for internal Ukrainian settlement. Through the Security Council, the Minsk Package received support of the entire international community. Since then, the Council has convened regularly, mostly upon Russia’s initiative, to review the progress of the Minsk Package. In 2018, a PRST was adopted in support of this process. Notwithstanding, the Minsk process collapsed to signify a clear failure of the Security Council in preventive diplomacy, which many of you cite among the central tasks of this body.
I do not know about you, but to us, it is extremely disappointing. This situation undermines the authority of the Security Council that failed to deliver on its main task, maintenance of international peace and security. I suggest that today we talk earnestly about what went wrong and what lessons need to be learned.
I would ask our former Western partners, who are about to start reciting their habitual mantras about how everything is Russia's fault, to pry themselves away from their sheets and answer one simple question. How come that while reiterating your support for the Minsk process in this very chamber from year to year and signing documents with us, you kept “a stone in your sling” and knew all that time that the Minsk process was just a smokescreen to rearm the Kiev regime and prepare it for war against Russia in the name of your geopolitical interests?
The recent revelations by F.Hollande, A.Merkel, and B.Johnson leave no space to doubt that the West merely imitated the a constructive process. And claims by Secretary General of NATO J.Stoltenberg that the Alliance has been preparing for a war against Russia ever since 2014, reveal the plan for geopolitical deterrence of Russia that is attempted to implement in our plain sight.
Further to revelations, those of P.Poroshenko and V.Zelensky very eloquently depict this entire criminal plot. The corpus delicti is clear, as well as the motive. For a method, they chose to talk the international community’s head off with absurd allegations that it was Russia who did not implement the Minsk Agreements, even though the text of the deal did not mention Russia whatsoever.
We have got a question to Mr. Sajdik. Please answer frankly, if you can. Did the OSCE and in particular the SMM realize that they were being abused, either blindly or knowingly, in this two-penny show? In Vienna, do they realize their guilt and their responsibility? Now it is clear that the SMM failed all its goals. Besides, in recent years, the Mission slid down to extremely politicized unilateral approaches. Thus, contrary to its mandate, the SMM suspended local contacts with leaders and most officials from the DPR and LPR, demanding that Donetsk and Lugansk publicly claim loyal to Kiev.
OSCE staff did not bother to notice the Russophobia and aggressive Ukrainian nationalist narrative that were thriving in Ukraine. Inconvenient facts for Kiev and the UAF, such as the killing of civilians by Ukrainian forces in Donbas, were often retouched or hidden from the eyes of the general public in closed reports. As a result, SMM OSCE was in fact turned into a biased tool that was used to cover-up for the Kiev regime and exert pressure on the authorities of Donetsk and Lugansk instead of engaging in a dialogue with them. Such approaches jeopardized the integrity of OSCE efforts to promote peaceful settlement in eastern Ukraine.
Mr. Sajdik, with you vast expertise, don’t you see this? Don’t you realize that all this “frank pledge” and endless lies, in which OSCE mechanisms had a very concrete role to play, trust in European multilateral institutions was critically undermined? When, how, and on whose prompting was the OSCE taken hostage by those ravaging Russophobes – Poles, Balts, and other young Europeans, who no longer even try to conceal their plans to dismember Russia and seize its natural resources? If you do not take it from me, check against the manifest that Ms. Anna Fotyga, ECR MEP from Poland, published recently in “Euractiv”.
We would also like to draw attention to the role of another body, whose head we wanted but unfortunately could not hear from today. Since the Ukrainian crisis began in 2014, the UN Secretariat has assumed an “ostrich position”. We never heard its representatives express any direct criticism of the Kiev regime even when it waged a real war on its people in eastern regions. By the same token, we never heard them calling on Kiev to engage in a direct dialogue with Donbas, as prescribed by UNSC resolution 2202. Allegedly, UN had no such authority. And what about this unanimously adopted resolution by the Security Council? Isn’t it the authority?
This being said, from the first days of our special military operation, the Secretariat has followed in the footsteps of Western states in churning out anti-Russian clichés and direct claims against Russia with reference to decisions by the General Assembly. Nonconsensual decisions, for that matter. One of those decisions even contains (contrary to the common sense, UN traditions and proprieties) a reference to the position of the Secretary-General. This is where UN officials ended up in after trying to ignore the violations of the Minsk Agreements and avoid giving assessments that could anger the collective West. Today many are saying that UN must be an intermediary between Russia and Ukraine. Taking into account what I just said, do you think we can trust such mediation? What are the guarantees that the Secretariat will behave differently this time?
Renunciation of the Minsk Agreements was a tragedy for Ukraine that happened due to criminal policies of Ukrainian leadership who were instigated by the collective West. We are convinced that the Ukrainian people will give an assessment to this crime. The current leader of the country, V.Zelensky, won the election in 2019 by a strong majority, because he had promised national dialogue, protection of the Russian language, and inter-ethnic concord. However when already in office, he embarked on a course towards confrontation with Russia, having completely forgotten all his campaign slogans for the benefit of geopolitical ambitions of the West.
Colleagues, now I speak to Western membership of the Council. We will not be able to live on as we used to, that’s for sure. Because you already showed enough of your deep-lying Russophobia to prove that this Russophobic stance and your striving to destroy our country, preferably by proxy, is everything that has been guiding you. You are not interested in building up European and Euro-Atlantic security system together with Russia. You want it to be against Russia.
We no longer have trust in you, and we cannot believe in any of your promises, be it NATO’s non-expansion to the east or your so-called zero intention to interfere in our domestic affairs, or your proclaimed willingness to live in peace as good neighbors. You showed your total intractability and slyness when first you created a neo-Nazi nationalist beehive at our borders and then ripped it.
We learned the top price to all your values after you turned a blind eye to the formation of a violent Russophobic dictatorship in Ukraine that suppressed every tiniest manifestation of the freedom of speech and political views.
So far, we have had no reasons to believe that you are capable of disrupting this vicious circle of lies and self-deceit. The more tales you are going to tell today about Russia’s alleged non-compliance with the Minsk Agreements, the more people will see that we had no other option but to protect our country, protect it from you, protect our identity and our future.