Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at a plenary meeting of the Eleventh Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly
A little more than a year ago, Ukraine and its Western sponsors called this 11th emergency special session of the General Assembly. Back then, many UN member states were disoriented and succumbed to the will of the collective West, who cried out that the history of humanity had never seen a thing more terrible which is why their response to Russia’s actions allegedly needed to be unprecedented.
Since then, many of you have obtained better knowledge of what had caused those events and the events that followed, which has made it harder for Western states to mobilize UN membership in support of their “crusade” against Russia. The draft resolution in front of us clearly proves this. The text of the draft has been completely eviscerated but still remained anti-Russian and malevolent by nature. I will get back to this later on. Given better awareness of member-states, a more substantive draft resolution would have way less chances to be supported, whilst votes and numbers is exactly what our opponents are after.
Let’s sum up what member states who are not involved in this conflict learned over the past year about plans of Western states and what changes the world has undergone.
In the first place, it has become obvious that the main element of anti-Russian propaganda campaign of our former Western partners is to accuse Russia of unprovoked aggression against a neighbor, motivated by some sort of imperial ambitions, aspirations to seize someone else’s territory and obliterate Ukraine as such.
One can believe in these absurd allegations only if one forgets about the eight years that had preceded our special military operation. Eight years is how long the felonious nationalist regime that came to power in Kiev after a Western-supported anti-constitutional coup d’état had waged a deadly war on the people of Donbas. Their only fault was that they wanted to stay ethnic Russians and raise their children as ethnic Russians, revered the memory of their ancestors and despised Nazi collaborators whom the new authorities glorified. To start the “history count” from 24 February 2022 while ignoring everything that had happened before – this is how the West deliberately tries to mislead everyone and conceal the true reasons of this conflict, which are key for understanding the prospects for a peaceful settlement.
Thanks to the revelations of some resigned Western leaders, there is no doubt today that Security Council-endorsed Minsk Agreements were just a smokescreen that the West used to prepare Ukraine for a war against Russia. With connivance and complicity of Americans and Europeans, a truly authoritarian and oppressive regime was first formed in Kiev and then armed and equipped. This regime gradually destroyed all opposition and everything that related (even remotely) to Russia. In a country where the Russian language is native for the majority of the population and that shared a cultural unity with us for centuries, such policy effectively meant a disruption of fundamental ties in the society and spread of an artificial paradigm where Ukraine was positioned as “anti-Russia”.
All these years, the Kiev regime carried out ruthless bombardments of peaceful cities of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, killing civilians, including children. We regularly updated both the Security Council and General Assembly on this, organized meetings and events at the UN platform, where the people of Donbas were invited to take part and speak about their tragedy. Those who followed those meetings do understand that we had no other option but to defend the people of Donbas and ensure security of our country by military means. In other words, we started a special military operation in order to stop the eight-year-long war of the Kiev authorities against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk.
We had warned against the military development by the collective West of the territory of neighboring Ukraine, which posed a direct threat to our national security. To all our concerns, the West time and again responded with defiant neglect and continued bringing NATO’s military infrastructure closer to our borders.
Statements by certain states who blame Russia for ruining the regional and global system of security are hypocritical. Now our Western colleagues prefer to forget about it, but at the end of 2021 Russia put forward a range of initiatives for de-escalation and confidence-building in Euro-Atlantics. We approached the US and NATO offering to sign treaties on security guarantees.
In doing so, we gave diplomacy a chance. But the US and allies arrogantly rejected it. They refused point blanc at least to talk about our initiatives, which, if implemented, would have helped us avoid what we are seeing today.
Now we realize why they did so. When we offered to agree on security guarantees, the West was already turning Ukraine at full speed into a military foothold in close vicinity to our borders. With this background in mind, do we have any reason to trust what Western representatives say about how much they want peace?
Today, one year after the Ukrainian crisis entered its active phase, there is little doubt that it is not Ukraine who is fighting against Russia (for Ukraine basically exhausted its military potential in the first weeks of our SMO), but the collective West – the US and its allies in NATO and the European Union. They not only supply arms and munition to Ukraine, but also share intelligence data with Ukrainian armed forces and coordinate targets for strikes.
At the same time, the West that used to tell us reassuring tales about some sort of partnership and cooperation now has shown its true face. With all proprieties cast aside, they set a goal to arm Ukraine and ensure a strategic defeat of Russia, dismember and ruin our country.
Such plots are being openly discussed in some eastern European capitals and the European Parliament, corresponding slogans are promoted by American and European politicians. For the sake of this goal, the West has been turning a blind eye to revival of neo-Nazism and glorification of Nazi criminals in Ukraine.
It becomes absolutely clear that the Ukrainian crisis was just a catalyst that helped this savage Russophobia to come to surface and contaminate all American and European elites, who are now competing with one another in introducing more and more sanctions against our country, which in reality rather impact the developing world. In this rush to defeat Russia at any cost, they are ready to sacrifice not only Ukraine, but plunge the entire world into the abyss of war, because what’s at stake for them is preservation of the hegemony of the United States and its allies. They consider the whole planet as their estate and do not want anyone else to be in control. As J.Borrell put it, they are a “beautiful garden”, whereas the rest are “the jungle”.
This being said, the collective West does not react to calls to stop it that are coming from the concerned developing states. Whatever “peace plan” Kiev or its sponsors throw in the information space narrows down to one and the same idea of Russia’s capitulation. This has long become obvious to everyone, and the real attitude of the Kiev regime to negotiations is eloquently evidenced by Presidential decree that was adopted in Ukraine in September last year that prohibited to have talks with Russian leadership.
Thanks to the revelations of former Prime Minister of Israel N.Bennett, there is no doubt left that in March last year, when the SMO was in its initial stage, Zelensky’s regime under pressure of its Western masters revoked the ideas about a lasting peace with Russia that they had shared with us during negotiations and that would have allowed us to resolve peacefully the causes that had made us start a military operation. Of course, Washington, London, and Brussels had armed and strengthened the Kiev regime, turned Ukraine into an “anti-Russia” not for it to live in peace and security with Russia as good neighbors, far from that. Our African and Asian partners know perfectly well how the West can use this colonialist approach aimed at setting neighbors against one another. Their toolkit has never changed.
What is it that we have today? We have a blazing Ukrainian crisis that the West fuels up by providing weapons and fighting this “hybrid war” until the last Ukrainian. Standing behind such decisions are no longer the politicians who cherish empty hopes about defeating Russia on the battlefield, but rather the insatiable weapons lobby who get super profits and a good site where they can combat-test new types of arms. In the meantime, the involvement of the West in the conflict is developing from indirect into a direct one, and the consequences of this become noticeable everywhere. From the food and energy crisis provoked by Western sanctions to the blast at the Nord Stream gas pipe, accountability for which will come anyway.
We also have the population of Ukraine that is suffering from the criminal Kiev regime and that is being used as “cannon fodder” for the sake of Western geopolitical ambitions. Those Ukrainians who end up in the West turn into rightless laborers to serve the Western masters, become exposed to violence and exploitation. That is why, despite rampant Russophobic propaganda, when escaping from hostilities, they go to Russia, where we love and respect the Ukrainian people.
Speaking about my country, we perceive all this as a war against the West that we are fighting for survival, for the future of our country and our children, for our identity. A war, in which, like 80 years ago, we have been challenged by a mighty and cunning enemy who wants to take out lands and subjugate us. This Russophobia, calls to dismember Russia, German tanks that once again are coming to kill Russians, calls to make those not willing to forsake their Russian identity wear red stars on their clothes add to this overall impression. This plan started to be implemented not today. But at least in 2014, when a hostile regime was created at our borders and started to strengthen. In this scheme, Ukraine is nothing more than a bargaining chip.
That being so, a solution to this entire situation that promises most negative consequences to humanity if Russia and NATO get into a direct confrontation, should be searched not at Russia-Ukraine level, but among Russia and the collective West, first of all Washington that stands behind the Kiev regime. We are ready to look for a serious and lasting diplomatic solution to this crisis, which we said on numerous occasions. Our opponents still have not recovered from a delusion about a possibility of defeating a nuclear power. That is why we have to address the reasons that made us start the SMO by military means.
Colleagues, one last question. How can UN member states facilitate a peaceful solution to the controversies between Russia and the collective West that exacerbated last year? One thing is for sure – the resolution that is put to vote now definitely will not help this. It is rather called to encourage the West to go on, give our opponents reason to say that Russia is allegedly isolated at global stage. To do this means to continue their militarist Russophobic course while covering up with alleged support of UN membership.
Of course, the Kiev regime will use this resolution in its propaganda. It already does. As recently as yesterday Zelensky said that the General Assembly was convening to adopt a resolution in support of his notorious 10-point “peace formula”. Even though the mention of this misleading initiative, as we understand, was removed from the draft at the insistence of a number of our UN colleagues. Unfortunately, the Kiev regime is incorrigible in its slyness. You have no idea how cunning they are, whereas we are well familiar with this.
Can we remedy this situation and prevent the West from using this document for their purposes? Especially in the circumstances when many of you are exposed to tough pressure and blackmail by Washington and its allies? Yes, we can. To do this, we need to adopt the amendments that my Belarusian colleague has proposed. But if those amendments do not pass and the document remains as it is, lopsided and disconnected from reality, then we call on everyone to cast your votes against.