Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia after UNSC vote on a US-proposed and a Russia-proposed draft resolutions on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
We regret that Security Council failed to use another opportunity to respond to the unprecedented crisis in the Middle East.
I have already provided a detailed account of our reasons why the US draft is a no-goer.
It is very sad that Council members, fixated on their national agendas, did not have the courage to show strategic wisdom and support the text proposed by Russia. Our Albanian colleague, who lamented the "lack of condemnation of terrorist attacks," had an opportunity to correct this by voting in favor of our draft. Apparently, he did not read it carefully enough to see there all the relevant passages, which he, in his customary emotional manner, called to include.
We regret that the UNSC has not lived up to its expectations. We did our best to help. The task of preventing further escalation in the area of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is now up to the United Nations General Assembly. We support the relevant draft resolution proposed by Jordan on behalf of the Arab group, which we have co-sponsored. We call on all member states to support this document.
Right of reply:
Let me say a few words to respond to the remarks of the Permanent Representative of Israel.
Israeli Ambassador asked a rhetoric question, what Moscow would do in case of terrorist attacks against the Russian Federation. The answer is obvious. Russia has encountered international terrorism. For example, during the events in Chechnya at the end of 1990s – beginning of 2000s. Back then, many delegates in this chamber were saying that was not international terrorism, but national liberation movements. And they called on us to talk to the Chechens. And we did talk to them. Later. But we never talked to terrorists. We eradicated them. And we were exposed to terrorist attacks – in Budyonnovsk, where terrorists seized a hospital; in Moscow, where they took hostages in a movie theater; and in Beslan, where they killed a lot of innocent children.
May I draw the attention of the Permanent Representative of Israel to the fact that both our statements and our draft resolution condemn terrorism, extend condolences, and express sympathy with the righteous anger of Israel over the deaths of its civilians.
Today we come across acts of terrorism too. And again, we do not talk to terrorists. But we did talk to the Chechens, which is why today Chechnya is a peaceful region in the multiethnic Russia. By the way, Chechen units take part in the special military operation on the Russian side, fully supportive of the Russian leadership. This is what it means to talk to people. But Chechen terrorists… no, we never talked to those. We do not call on you to renounce fighting terrorists. But we do call to fight terrorists rather than peaceful civilians. That was our point. But we never denied Israel its right to defend itself against terrorist attacks.
I ask you to take this into account next time you comment on our statements.