Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Explanation of vote by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva after the UNSC vote on a draft resolution on the renewal of South Sudan's sanctions regime

Mr.President, 

Russia abstained on a US-proposed draft resolution on the renewal of South Sudan’s sanctions regime.

We believe that the draft resolution does not envisage sufficient sanctions relief. We regret that the United States continues to focus entirely on the sanctions regime against South Sudan, which they present as a cure-all solution for all of the country's problems. Back in the day, sanctions regime was imposed on South Sudan because of an acute internal conflict. However, the situation has not stood still. In recent years, the authorities of South Sudan have been walking down a challenging road to stabilization. In spite of this, the sanctions regime has remained virtually the same. And now, again, the American penholders of the South Sudanese file propose to ignore all of Juba's positive developments and rubber stamp yet another decision that would be burdensome for the country. We have no doubt that Washington is simply using the Security Council to maintain leverage over the South Sudanese authorities in order to achieve its goals. This speaks of a consumerist attitude towards the Security Council and its mechanisms. I would not like to think that the other Council members who voted in favor of the draft resolution also pursue the goal of making life more difficult for the Government of South Sudan through sanctions. But, unfortunately, that is the scenario to which they subscribe. I recall that there was a proposal on the table to ease, if not lift, Juba’s sanctions. However, that was firmly rejected.

The American penholders of the South Sudanese file did take on board some our considerations. They could not have failed to do so, since our proposals were obvious and did not raise any questions even among Washington’s avid supporters. Unfortunately, Washington has once again demonstrated that it hears only whatever it wants and needs to.

Mr.President, 

What’s critical is not only that many of our amendments were dismissed, but also that the collective call of the three African members on UNSC was ignored. They called to endorse the approach of the African Union regarding the harmfulness of UNSC sanctions regime. Besides, the authorities of South Sudan, have been advocating for the lifting (or at least easing,) of sanctions which would enhance Juba's effectiveness in addressing security challenges, including in the run-up to the national elections, as well as in implementing the Revitalized Peace Agreement. It is clear that at this stage many of the Security Council sanctions regimes, including those on South Sudan, are outdated and need to be reviewed. Further evidence of their ineffectiveness is the imposition of additional unilateral and therefore illegal restrictive measures by individual states, which further aggravates the socio-economic situation of many African countries, including South Sudan.

My country, which historically stood at the origin of African peoples’ struggle for independence and statehood, cannot remain indifferent to such disregard for the interests of Africans. We reaffirm our principled position that Western members of the Security Council, especially those who have assumed the role of penholders, should take into account the views of the countries on the agenda rather than impose their own vision of political and economic development. Today we see that such an approach does not find broad support in the Security Council, and harms the reputation of both the Council and the UN as a whole.

Thank you.

Video of the statement