Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC debate on Ukraine


Today a week concludes that has not been easy for the United Nations. It will be remembered for its informational fuzz-buzz and commotion that Ukraine and its Western sponsors started around the anniversary of Russia’s special military operation. By the looks of it, this is what the “peace summit” at the New York platform, promised by D.Kuleba in January, boiled down to at the end of the day. Without exaggeration, it would probably take a whole conference of political scientists to analyze all that our former Western partners have said during this week. Maybe such a conference will convene one day, maybe in a historical retrospective. Here is a title that we would propose, “Another missed chance for a peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian crisis”.

This would be an appropriate title, for all phrases to contain the word “peace” that high-ranking Ukrainian and Western officials cunningly said even in this meeting, implied something completely different from peace, namely a capitulation of Russia and inflicting a strategic defeat on our country. Ideally – with a subsequent collapse and rearrangement of all its constituent territories. 

These real goals behind the Western interference in Ukrainian affairs, which clearly manifested itself almost on this very day 9 years ago, on the day of the Maidan anti-constitutional coup on February 21, 2014, were not concealed from the very beginning. Then it led to emergence of a hostile Russophobic nationalist regime right by our borders that rushed to solve the “Russian question” in Ukraine.

Yesterday in the General Assembly, when criticizing balancing amendments by Belarus to a draft resolution, our British colleague asserted that those amendments allegedly equaled the aggressor and the victim. Aren’t you bothered that your “victim” has its hands up to the elbows in blood and Nazi tattoos? That your “victim” has vast experience in exterminating the Russian-speaking population of Donbas? Why do you think it normal that Ukraine sends guns and tanks against unarmed people in the east of the country and airdrops bombs onto them just because they do not want to renounce their identity? This is exactly what the Kiev regime did in summer 2014, after which an internal Ukrainian armed conflict broke out. Do you think we should put up with this?

May I remind that NATO justified its aggression against Yugoslavia by a “campaign of terror” and the need to ensure that Kosovars “live in security and enjoy universal human rights and freedoms on an equal basis”. This was a quote from a NATO statement dated 23 April 1999.  

It appears that you and your other colleagues deny the universal human rights and freedoms of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, if you believe that the Kiev authorities who attacked them were a victim, and if you keep silent about a campaign of terror that was unleashed against them. To us, it is plain and clear that Ukraine is not a victim. If Ukraine had not begun a war against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk with your connivance, and if it had heeded their aspirations, no special military operations would have been required. Maybe Crimea also would have remained within Ukraine, because the people of Crimea chose to reunify with Russia only after they had heard direct threats from the new authorities in Kiev.

Availing of the presence of Ms.Colonna and Ms.Baerbock in this chamber, I would like to raise another topic that recently has come to be very unhandy for our Western colleagues, the Minsk Agreements. We all heard the recent revelations by F.Hollande, A.Merkel, and B.Johnson that neither France, nor Germany or Great Britain ever had been serious about these agreements. They never intended to encourage Ukraine to comply and only used the Minsk Agreements as a tool to drag out time and give Kiev the opportunity to prepare for a war against Russia. Even if we set aside the moral aspect of the issue (we have long ceased to have any illusions regarding morality of some of our Western colleagues), it basically means that leaders of those states openly admitted to deliberate violations of UNSC resolution 2202 which endorsed the Minsk Agreements.  

However this does not prevent Foreign Ministers of those countries from giving lectures to other members of the Security Council today.

In this past week, the West has overused the cliché that had been around for some time already. The phrase goes as follows, “if Russia stops hostilities there will be no war, if Ukraine does, there will be no Ukraine”. Sounds beautiful, but it is absolutely deceitful. Can you please tell us where, when, and from whom you got this idea that Russia may pursue a goal to destroy and “deukrainize” Ukraine? We never declared such a goal, and always wanted to have by our side a friendly neighbor, as we once used to, who would not threaten us, discriminate anyone, or revive Nazism.  

So this slogan of yours should go as follows. If Russia stops hostilities, Ukraine will keep discriminating and persecuting Russian speakers and those who do not want to sever ties with Russia, violating their rights and freedoms, glorifying Nazi criminals. If Ukraine stops hostilities, it will have a chance to regenerate as a normal peaceful and independent state and save thousands of human lives. That is why we repeatedly stated that we are ready to negotiate ways for the goals of our special military operation to be achieved by peaceful means. Schemes that may envisage other scenarios are out of the question.  

Colleagues, we repeatedly stated this week that cessation of hostilities in Ukraine is something that only collective West is not interested in. As we all know now, the West did not let the Kiev regime make peace in April-May last year. Our Western colleagues are okay with things as they are: Russians and Ukrainians killing each other, Western defense industries reaping fantastic profits and getting a site to test new weapons, NATO getting rid of old weapons and rearming gradually. In addition to this, Washington is weakening its European competitors who demonstrate an unprecedented degree of subservience and impotence (we spoke about it yesterday in detail here). Most importantly, the West eagerly rubs its hands hoping to preserve, by means of weakening Russia and threatening China, its global monopoly and remain the only “beautiful garden” on a planet of “jungles”, as Mr.Borrel puts it. In such instance, the “golden billion” will be able to enrich themselves at the expense of others uncontrollably and with impunity for many years to come, set countries against one another while disposing of their natural resources and exploiting their population. This is what’s called “international rules-based order”, which Russia challenged when we refused to put up with having a Russophobic wasp nest at our doorstep. We would like for developing states to have no illusions as to what this conflict is really about.

Of course, a resolution to this conflict is inseparable from issues related to an equitable and indivisible Euro-Atlantic security architecture. Now it exists only for the US and its allies in NATO, who proclaimed themselves to have the right to interfere in any international issues and internal affairs of states (Ukraine is a telling example). Their bases are located at our borders in violation of major perceptions with which the Cold War era terminated. Western leaders deceived us back then, and they want to continue doing this now by absolutizing the right of NATO to expand uncontrollably and by talking everyone’s ear off with how much they spend on Development Goals, as Secretary of State Blinken did a few minutes ago in this chamber. May I remind that since the Cold War ended, the United States have carried out 251 military operations abroad, having caused colossal damages in affected countries. Pay hundred times more, and it still will not be enough to repay for what you have done.

The collective West must accept the fact that there are other actors on the planet who have own interests, and that they must co-exist with those actors and can as well cooperate with them to mutual benefit on an equal and respectful basis. Unilateral world order is a thing of the past and it falls within our shared interests to ensure that a transition to a multilateral governance goes with as few perturbations as possible. We very much want to believe that “hot phase” of this transition will limit itself to the Ukrainian crisis alone.  

This is what a real conversation about peace (perhaps i.a. at the UN platform) should look like. The sooner it starts the better. We had tried to begin this conversation at the end of 2021, before the SMO started. But the West arrogantly rejected all our proposals for a dialogue. It was the people of Ukraine who paid a price for this, because the Kiev regime sacrificed them for the sake of Western geopolitical ambitions. We welcome all genuine efforts towards peace, for example the Chinese proposals.

The choice is to be made by our former Western partners, first of all Washington. After all that we have learned about you in this past year; after all this endless appalling Russophobia and attempts to “cancel Russia”; after all the weapons that you delivered to Zelensky’s regime to kill civilians – women, children, and elderly in Donbas; after this “Ukrainian project” that was designed to give Russia trouble at its borders – after all this our relations will no longer be the same. We no longer believe what you say and it will not be easy, if possible at all, to have our trust back. What matters now is not words but actions. It is in your interests to try. So far you only exacerbate the situation while you continue to pump up the Kiev regime with weapons and assist them on the battlefield. At this point, you leave us no other option but to address threats that are coming from the territory of Ukraine militarily. Think about it when devising further anti-Russian initiatives at the UN platform and presenting them as a token of global support for Ukraine.

Thank you.


Video of the statement