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 meeting on Libya

Mr. President,

We are grateful to Deputy Secretary General Rosemary DiСarlo and Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj for their briefings.

We find the latest developments in Libya extremely concerning. The protracted tangle of contradictions between the opposing sides, which developed as a result of the internal political stalemate, has led the country to a new era of dual competing authorities and a catastrophic destabilization of the situation.

Previously, Libya was swept by a wave of popular protests, whereby people demanded that the authorities solve the urgent tasks of unifying State structures, ensuring security and improving the socio-economic situation of the population.

The armed clashes in Tripoli over the weekend, which involved the use of heavy weapons, became the sad culmination of this process. This city has repeatedly been used as an arena for armed groups to settle their differences, but the current tragedy is unprecedented in its scale over the past two years. As a result of the hostilities, dozens of people were killed and hundreds injured. While the situation has slightly stabilized, there could be another spiral of violence at any moment.

Any steps leading to further escalation in the former Jamahiriya are utterly unacceptable. We call on the Libyan leaders to return to dialogue. We warn them against using force to achieve their goals - this path leads nowhere and only further deepens divisions in the country. Heated relentless exchanges of accusations, as well as attempts to punish their counterparts in the aftermath, will hardly help the cause.

We would like to remind you that the root cause of Libya's current plight is well known, although our partners prefer not to mention it. The current chaos is a direct result of the NATO military intervention in 2011, when the provisions of the relevant UN Security Council resolution were grossly perverted. There was nothing left of Libya – the country saw a de facto dismantling of its statehood, the system of State administration was destroyed, interregional and intertribal relations were upended. Eleven years later, we are still trying to overcome the disastrous effects of that period. Therefore, their current statements calling for peace look dubious, to say the least. We wish to draw attention to the passive attitude of the British as informal sponsors, who did not even try to convene the Council in light of the bloody events in Tripoli. Just as in the case of what is currently happening in Baghdad. Apparently, our Western colleagues are much more concerned about other topics, as well the continuation of oil production, rather than the well-being and security of ordinary Libyans and Iraqis.

Mr. President,

We reaffirm our unchanged approach to a peaceful settlement in Libya. The central role in coordinating the parameters of the political process should belong to the Libyans themselves, without the imposition of any external ready-made recipes. The way out of this difficult situation should take the form of duly prepared national elections held on an inclusive basis, but Libyan politicians still have not reached a common denominator on the procedural aspects of the elections. Establishing artificial deadlines, as experience has repeatedly shown, does not lead to the desired result.

We are convinced that, in the current critical situation, all States that have leverage on the warring parties should do everything in their power to restore order in Libya. It is no secret that the competing interests of a number of influential countries clash in this country, thereby hindering efforts to stabilize the situation. Russia, for its part, welcomes any negotiation format, as long as it genuienly represents a road to peace and not fruitless geopolitical projects with a dual agenda. Without inclusiveness, it is impossible to achieve a balanced solution.

The same principle is the key to the success of a national reconciliation process, which implies the engagement of all the leading political forces of the country, including representatives of the former regime. In this regard, we welcome the efforts of the African Union to organize an all-Libyan conference on national reconciliation. For our part, we will try to provide all possible assistance in the implementation of this step.

On the issue of eliminating the foreign military presence, we consistently advocate for a synchronized, balanced, gradual and phased withdrawal of all non-Libyan armed groups and military units without exception so as not to undermine the balance of power.

Mr. President,

We are convinced that the central role in promoting the Libyan settlement should be played by the United Nations, whose most important instrument remains the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Unfortunately, today the latter is still operating without a UNSC-mandated leader, which is detrimental to its effectiveness. Against the background of the actual dual authorities and the aggravated threat of a full-scale armed conflict, it is unacceptable to leave the UN presence in Libya without an intermediary with the appropriate status and authority.

We look forward to the prompt appointment of a new Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for this country and the head of the Mission. We agreed to the respective proposal of the Secretariat. This person will undoubtedly help break the current deadlock of the political process, unify and correctly apply the existing initiatives and ideas. It is important that this person enjoys the support of key players in Libya and in the region, as well as the approval of the UN Security Council members.

Thank you.