Statement by Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, at an open VTC of UNSC members under agenda item “Peace and Security in Africa”
We thank Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo for the information provided. We welcome Minister Shoukry and Ambassadors of Sudan and Ethiopia at today’s meeting.
The Russian Federation has always supported the negotiation process between Addis-Ababa, Cairo and Khartoum on a major hydropower project Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River and all related issues of water resources management. We stressed that the modalities of the use of the Nile water resources should be determined by all countries of the Nile basin on an equal footing, taking into account the tasks of their social and economic development, on the basis of international law and in the interests of maintaining regional stability.
The search for a mutually acceptable solution to the problem should be carried out in accordance with the spirit and letter of the 2015 Khartoum declaration, while taking into account the progress achieved in the trilateral format on a range of issues related to the regime of the filling of the hydropower station’s dam and timelines of its putting into operation, principles of water management and further operation of the dam, ecological run-off volume, drought mitigation measures and the project’s safety.
We take note of the positive nature of the trilateral technical consultations held on June 15-17. We welcome the meeting of the African Union Extraordinary Bureau of the Assembly of Heads of State and government held
on June 26 in the VTC format with participation of leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan and chaired by the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. The summit produced a promising format of cooperation – Tripartite Committee on technical and legal issues, which was tasked to sort out all outstanding problems of the dam’s operation.
We take note of the contribution that African States made to addressing the differences between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan with a view to accompany the tripartite negotiations. Thus, our African colleagues demonstrated their commitment to the principle “African solutions to African problems” in action.
We express hope that Addis-Ababa, Cairo and Khartoum will be in a position to achieve on this basis a mutually acceptable agreement on the GERD issue in the interests of maintaining stability in the region. We see no alternative to bridging the differences on the GERD matter only through negotiations with due respect for interests of all sides and in accordance with the international law.
To conclude, I would like to underscore that the Russian Federation is genuinely interested to see the issue sorted out in the expedited and just manner. It would contribute to the progress, development and prosperity of the African continent, in accordance with the spirit and in line with the goals set out at the first ever economic forum and summit “Russia-Africa” held last year in Sochi.