Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia after the UNSC vote on a draft resolution on cross-border humanitarian assistance mechanism for Syria (put forward by the Russian Federation)

Mm. President,

We are deeply disappointed by the vote on the Russian draft resolution on the mechanism of cross-border humanitarian assistance to Syria. My British colleague talked about hypocrisy, and I agree with her. However, we have a different view on who was hypocritical in this situation. My German colleague has tried (it has already become a tradition) to teach us diplomacy and reproached us of being unwilling to compromise. We have come here with a huge compromise – it was our draft resolution. For some reason it was not taken. We were asked for more compromises, for compromises that should build upon previous compromises. Basically, what we were asked to do was to get back to the initial text put forward by penholders that we said from the very beginning was unacceptable. Again, for some reason the co-authors did not believe this.

Basically, today we saw the double standards of “humanitarian champions” of Syria’s well-being. We were ready to extend the mechanism and ensure its “swift approval” as it was said here today, in the interests of providing assistance to Syrians who are situated in the areas where this assistance is a real life-saver.

At the same time our colleagues, who relentlessly blame Russia for blocking these efforts, who speak of high standards and humanistic principles – they themselves “buried” this instrument. Arguments that they give to explain their point stand up to no criticism. Here is a rhetoric question to you: Who won today? No one. Who lost today? Those very Syrians, for whom those who blocked our draft resolution say they care so much. We have already dwelt on reasons for reducing the duration of cross-border mandate and cutting the number of crossings. But most importantly – I would like to emphasize this again – is that we were ready to extend the mechanism. Do not try to silence this down. Will those Syrians who need this humanitarian aid be able to understand the essence of our controversies? 6 months or 12 months – what difference does it make to them? We do not accept reproaches that we heard today. What do you reproach us for? Is it for the fact that you have not passed our resolution that should extend the cross-border mechanism?

You deprived Syrians of a mechanism of humanitarian assistance. Do not try to shift the responsibility to us. What will you say to the journalists at the stakeout after this meeting? That Russia “killed” the cross-border mechanism? Or will you mainstream it in your Mass Media? But how are you going to explain why you voted against the Russian draft that was designed to prolong deliveries of humanitarian assistance to Syria through the cross-border mechanism?

Sadly enough, it is quite obvious that some our partners are after some other goals than just humanitarian ones. They keep politicizing the humanitarian aspects.

Russia will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people. We will also work to rehabilitate the country that has been devastated, to a larger extent, because of an external interference.