Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia after the UNGA vote on a draft resolution on humanitarian situation in Ukraine
I will not speak about all wars started by the countries that demand a cessation of hostilities today, pretending to be peacekeepers. Those are countries that spent 8 years silent about the crimes committed by the Kiev regime against its population in Donbas and throughout Ukraine. Let me however cite one particular date. Some said today that 24 March marks a month since the beginning of the special military operation. However it also marks the anniversary of armed aggression that the United States and its NATO allies started against Yugoslavia in 1999. It began on 24 March and went on for 78 days and nights. Forces of the Alliance made more than 35,000 assault flights, launched about 3,000 cruise missiles, air dropped more than 10,000 tons of explosives. In TNT equivalent, this is five times the atomic bomb that Americans dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. The bombings killed more than 2,000 Serbs, including women, children, and elderly. Later they would be cynically called “collateral damage”. Thousands civil facilities in dozens of cities were destroyed, Kosovo Autonomous Province was separated from the country by force. 1999 NATO aggression against Yugoslavia was the first armed attack on a sovereign state in Europe since 1945. This was the tragic contribution of NATO, this “purely defensive alliance” as they would call themselves, to the European history. I could have given more examples that previous speakers already addressed today.
I think there is no need to elaborate in detail why Russia voted against the draft pseudo-humanitarian resolution that was put forward by Western countries and Ukraine. Why pseudo-humanitarian? Because its authors only needed it to condemn Russia and stick labels to my country. They needed some sort of a roll-call of those who are ready to subscribe to a lopsided interpretation of the situation. We appreciate all those who found courage to look at this in an independent manner.
Why else is this draft pseudo-humanitarian? Because if our Western colleagues really cared for humanitarian issues, they would have supported the Russian truly humanitarian draft that was voted in the Security Council yesterday. Alas, political considerations gained the upper hand. As a result, humanitarians on the ground were left without some crucial decisions, which the adopted UNGA resolution cannot compensate.
Besides, under an unprecedented pressure from the West, the General Assembly again overstepped its authorities and attempted to give instructions relating to maintenance of international peace and security in violation of para 2, Article 11 of the UN Charter.
Such prescripts that are adopted ultra vires are null and void, and ab initio make no legal implications.
We regret this procedural hustle, unworthy of the UN platform, that Western states started to prevent the vote on a draft resolution put forward by our colleagues from South Africa. Our Western colleagues were too afraid that their self-assumed monopoly on submitting draft decisions (anti-Russian in essence) on the situation in Ukraine to the General Assembly might be shattered. By doing what they did, initiators of this hustle exposed themselves. We thank our colleagues from South Africa for their initiative and resolve. We also thank all other states who were ready to support the RSA draft resolution.
I reckon that UN member states will remember this lesson, where our Western colleagues manipulated the humanitarian principles.