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 the plenary meeting of UN General Assembly under agenda item 42 "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba"


We thank the Secretary-General for preparing a report on issues of termination of economic, commercial and financial embargo of Cuba, imposed by the United States.

Russia, together with the overwhelming majority of the international community, argues that the United Stated must immediately revoke the illegitimate embargo of Cuba.

All unilateral restrictive measures that Washington imposes on Havana limit the natural inalienable rights of the people of Cuba, but also the people of the United States; they are absolutely illegal and violate the fundamental norms and principles of the international law. Washington waged this sanctions war for the sole purpose – topple the unwanted government. It is a symptomatic example of overt external political pressure in the spirit of notorious “Monroe doctrine”, blatant interference in internal affairs of a sovereign state, express neglect of humanitarian and human rights values.

This becomes obvious in the present-day situation, amidst the spreading COVID-19, when all countries need to demonstrate political will, wisdom and a forward-thinking approach, reject trade wars and sanctions, and unite efforts to counter this calamity on the basis of mutual understanding, solidarity and support. Unfortunately, at the highest tide of the pandemic, we saw Washington take imhumane, sometimes odious steps with regard to Havana. The statistics is self-explanatory: the damage that US sanctions inflicted on Cuba’s economy in 2020 had increased by almost 30 % as compared to 2019 and for the first time ever exceeded 5 billion USD, whereas the overall damage that the US restrictions have caused throughout 60 years of existence equals 144 billion USD.

Over the recent years, the US leadership has aggressively “spiraled up” the anti-Cuban sanctions hysteria. The decision to include Cuba on the list of states-sponsors of terrorism that the previous US Administration made on 11 January 2021 was the height of absurdity.

We believe the discreditation campaign against Cuban medics was absolutely unscrupulous and inhumane, same can be said about sanctions against bio-pharmaceutical industry that put at risk health of hundreds of thousand people in many countries of the globe. It is encouraging that even amidst such conditions Havana remains remarkably resilient, and continues to provide assistance to other countries by dispatching its doctors (teams of Cuban medics have been sent to 40 states), providing medicines and, in parallel to this, developing its own vaccine for coronavirus, i.a. to cover the needs of third countries. The main goal that our partners have been guided by is obvious: it is selfless provision of medical assistance amidst the global challenge that COVID-19 pandemic posed to the humanity.

Availing of this opportunity, we would like to welcome the reported success of Cuban scientists who have achieved the required level of efficacy for one of their developed vaccines. This deserves particular respect given the fact that this achievement was made against an effective embargo.

Unfortunately, so far we have noticed no changes at the Cuba track of Washington’s foreign policy under the Biden Administration. Speculations that Washington allegedly considers various options to change its strategic approach receive no practical embodiment. We hope that the US Administration will demonstrate common sense in the spirit of previously made claims.

To reiterate our solid position, we will again vote in favor of a draft resolution that demands to terminate the embargo without preconditions. Thereby we stick to the guiding principles of the Charter about inadmissibility of any discriminatory measures, infringements of national sovereignty and interference in internal affairs of sovereign states.

We call on all member states to have solidarity with the people of Cuba in its struggle for equal conditions for socio-economic growth and vote in favor of the draft resolution.

Thank you.