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 after UNSC vote on a draft resolution on safety of navigation in the Red Sea


We are grateful to the delegations who supported our proposed amendments that were called to correct the politicized nature of the resolution. We regret that the rest of the Council did not take that step, preferring to turn a blind eye to the dangerous flaws in the draft resolution.

We could not support it in its current form and abstained on the draft UNSC resolution on the safety of navigation in the Red Sea prepared by Japan and the United States.

We should like to emphasize once again that this resolution cannot be regarded as legitimizing the actions in the Red Sea of the so-called "coalition" consisting of the United States and its satellites. We note that OP3 cannot create a "right of states to defend their vessels against attack", which does not exist. All activities under this paragraph, as stated in the paragraph itself, must be carried out strictly within the framework of effective international law.

The hastily drafted "product" contains other serious flaws from the international law perspective, including an inappropriate reference to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which, as we know, regulates issues of navigation in peacetime and has nothing to do with what is happening in the Red Sea now.

We also regret that, despite the insistent requests of a number of delegations, including representatives of the Arab world, the real root cause of instability in the Red Sea - the plight of the Gaza Strip – was not mentioned in the document. That approach by the authors grossly distorts the cause-and-effect link and gives the document a highly politicized and unbalanced character.


The Permanent Representative of the United States accused us of playing politics. There is no need to recall a variety of misinterpretations of UNSC resolutions that Washington has indulged in. Under the pretext of protecting civilians, American-led NATO troops destroyed Libyan statehood. By distorting the provisions of the Security Council sanctions resolutions on Yemen, they intercepted weapons in the Arabian Sea, which were then sent to the Ukrainian armed forces.

From the words of the US Permanent Representative, it follows that the United States equals defense of commercial vessels to self-defense. In fact, the US exposed itself by voting together with Great Britain against the amendments to PP9 (on not setting precedents) and to OP3 and showed that the purpose why they promoted this draft resolution was to have a free hand at interpreting the “right to defend vessels“ with reference to self-defense.

We warn our American colleagues against such behavior in this context. For our part, we assume that the resolution will be applied within the strict geographical framework of the Red Sea, without projecting its provisions onto other areas of the world's oceans, in full compliance with international law.

Thank you.

Video of the statement