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 UNSC vote on a draft resolution on Afghanistan

Russia voted in support of a Security Council resolution on Afghanistan.

We note the efforts of UAE and Japan as co-penholders of the Afghan file in the Council. They searched for compromise solutions while taking into account a wide range of positions, and wanted to draft a document that should account for the whole set of challenges that Afghanistan is faced with today.  In this regard, it causes sincere regret and disappointment that steps towards a more prominent reflection of all these problems were actually blocked by a number of Western colleagues led by the United States.

Of course, we do not welcome the decision of the Taliban to restrict the rights of women and girls. Of course, these bans must be lifted. However, the real reasons for the unresolved issue of unfreezing Afghan assets that belong to the Afghan people; calls for increasing humanitarian assistance and restoring the country’s economy; and the negative consequences of unilateral sanctions did not make it to the resolution. This approach of Western colleagues no longer surprises us though. This is just another example of the double standards of the US and its allies when discussing various conflicts in the Council.

At the same time, those who are responsible for the terrible crisis in Afghanistan and its consequences, which the Afghans are forced to deal with by themselves, are precisely those who today talk loudly about the sufferings of women and girls who were left behind. If you care so much for the people of Afghanistan, why don’t you return the money you stole from them and direct it to remedy the dire humanitarian and socio-economic situation without preconditions? Why don’t you lift the illegal unilateral restrictions and start contributing responsibly to a real settlement of the Afghan problem that you created by yourselves? The vulnerable groups of the population, including women and girls, would benefit most from such steps.

Afghanistan needs our shared support now as never before. We note the dedicated work of UN personnel in Afghanistan under the lead of SRSG Otunbayeva, first of all of the humanitarian wing of the UN Mission, who deliver on their mandated tasks in a very complex environment. We assume that UNAMA will continue implementing its duties in full, including with regard to coordination of international humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, supporting most vulnerable groups – women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Any attempts to politicize the humanitarian area on various pretexts are immoral and unacceptable.

We are convinced that pragmatic interaction with the de facto authorities on all key issues (i.a. via UNAMA in accordance with its mandate) remains imperative. It is important to prevent the isolation of Afghanistan. A patient and constructive dialogue will be beneficial for all – the people of Afghanistan, the region and the whole world.

Thank you.


Video of the statement