Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Explanation of vote by Chargé d'Affaires of the Russian Federation Dmitry Polyanskiy after UNSC vote on a draft resolution on renewal of the CAR sanctions regime

Mr.President, 

Russia abstained on the draft resolution put forward by the delegation of France on renewal of the sanctions regime as regards the Central African Republic.

During the consultations on this document, we clearly articulated our position that the Security Council at last must react to the repeated and legitimate requests of the government of the CAR to have the arms embargo lifted. This demand also enjoys broad support in the Central African community.

The arms embargo limits the efforts of Bangui in opposing the illegal armed formations and adds no value in terms of preventing arms deliveries to the militants. They have been receiving those weapons for all ten years that the arms embargo has existed. So even if the restrictions remain, this is not going to change anything about this problem.

Proceeding from this objective reality, we offered to approach the problem in a sober and rational way and to have the resolution stipulate prospective modalities of assistance that the international community could render to help the CAR ensure security of its national borders and curb arms smuggle that militants benefit from.

We were guided by the consideration that the Security Council not only should revisit its approach to the situation in the CAR that has largely improved since 2013, when the UNSC sanctions were first imposed, but also make the necessary decisions to amend elements of the sanctions regime that are no longer relevant. In the first place, those are measures relating to the arms embargo.

Taking into account the current situation in the CAR, we are convinced that Security Council should have decided to abolish all forms of sanctions against efforts of the sovereign state to achieve stabilization and maintain national security.

We regret that our relevant proposals regarding the draft resolution were not taken on board. Our amendments to the humanitarian aspects of the draft that were based on the agreed language and had major importance were not accepted either.

Clearly, the penholders, just like some other members of the Council, were cynically proceeding from their own selfish interests in the CAR and Africa at large while ignoring sovereign opinions of African states that are exposed to UNSC sanctions. It is no secret that some states use sanctions regimes as levers to exert political pressure under the international, i.e. UN umbrella. We do not believe this is a constructive approach for promoting effectiveness of sanctions regimes. In spite of this, when making our final decision for the vote, we thought it necessary to account for position of African delegations on the Council.

On our part, we will continue providing bilateral assistance to the Central African Republic, i.a. in enhancing the capacity of national armed forces of the country, training of military and law enforcement personnel, and sending humanitarian aid. All this is fully compliant with applicable international legal norms and relevant requests from Bangui.

Thank you.

 

Video of the statement