Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin at UNSC briefing with regard to considering the ICC report on Libya


We studied the recent report by ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan on the progress if the investigation in Libya. We have taken note of the so-called roadmap that presents Prosecutor Khan’s vision of further engagement on the Libyan file.

By all means, an attempt to revisit the far not ideal approaches of the former Prosecutor, Ms.Fatou Bensouda, is a step in the right direction. However we have serious reservations as to some of the report’s ideas. The most serious of them is the refusal to investigate crimes committed in Libya in 2011.

Office of the Prosecutor directly states that it “considers the investigation phase of its work in relation to crimes committed in 2011 to be completed and it does not intend to pursue new cases.” Let me remind that the events of that period led to the handover of the Libyan file from the Security Council to the International Criminal Court. Or rather not the events themselves, but their coverage by Western Media and NGOs. Then ICC Prosecutor, Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, hastily made up a case against M.Gaddafi that was all based on fakes so crude and obvious that it started to collapse even before the Libyan leader was killed.

As we all remember, ICC used the “Gaddafi case” to justify NATO’s unprovoked military aggression against the Libyan state. Western countries grossly violated UNSC resolution 1973, when they interpreted the establishment of a no-fly zone as a carte blanche for blanket bombings of the sovereign and flourishing Libya. The result is well known: deaths of civilians, chaos and devastation, mass flows of refugees. Until this day, Libya has continued to suffer from the effects of NATO’ actions back in 2011.

What M.Gaddafi was charged for and what the West used as a pretext to eliminate himself and his country cannot be compared to sufferings that Libya endured after the NATO invasion and years of chaos, power vacuum, and civil war that followed.

Let me underscore that what was done to M.Gaddafi was done with connivance and full approval of US officials. For instance, recall the comment by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said with a smile: “We came, we saw, he died”.

If only the words “justice” and “impartiality” had meant anything to the ICC, it wouldn’t have focused only on investigations aimed against Gaddafi’s supporters, but also would have looked into war crimes, committed by NATO and representatives of the opposition.

Instead of this, as we take it from the ICC report, the Court plans to upend investigations into the events of 2011. So in the opinion of the Prosecutor’s Office, there is no one to blame for Libya’s catastrophe but M.Gaddafi, is there? This approach is strikingly lopsided. The principle of inevitability of punishment that the West refers to so frequently simply stops working when it comes to concern themselves.

Let me ask Prosecutor Khan. Who will be accountable for ruining Libya’s statehood and years of suffering of its population? Why doesn't ICC have questions to extrajudicial killing of M.Gaddafi? Should we consider it as approval by ICC of the policy of overthrowing “unwanted” governments and killing leaders of sovereign states?

We are convinced that comprehensive analysis of the tragic events of 2011 that should objectively take into account roles and responsibilities of all sides must remain at the center of ICC attention. Otherwise it would be pure hypocrisy talking about justice or an “approach centered around victims’ rights”.

In conclusion, a few words about the current state of affairs in Libya. Only now, 10 years after the NATO aggression, Libya is having some positive momentum for overcoming its deepest internal political crisis. We call on everyone to keep from interfering with the electoral process in Libya, whose long-suffering people deserves stable and lasting peace.

Thank you.