Statement by Chargé d'Affaires of the Russian Federation Dmitry Polyanskiy at the UN Security Council meeting on Libya
We are thankful to Assistant Secretary-General Bintou Keita for the briefing about current developments in Libya. We are convening this meeting today for a very sad reason.
It is with deep regret that we have been receiving news from Libya about a terrorist attack in Benghazi that, reportedly, has taken lives of two officers of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). We express our sincere condolences to the United Nations, to the families and friends of those who perished. We strongly condemn this and other terrorist attacks that kill the people of Libya.
Besides, I cannot fail to mention that over the recent two-three weeks several hundred of migrants drowned in the Mediterranean on their way to Europe from Libya and other countries after the boats transporting them had capsized. These are only the latest disasters that happened to Libyans and Africans who had become desperate and given up any hope to live stable and peaceful lives. During the minute of silence that you called, Mm. President, our thoughts were with them as well. Because every human life matters.
It is obvious that our grimmest forecasts are coming true. We have spoken about it on multiple occasions: domestic strife encourages terrorist groups to raise up their heads. Another reason for their enhanced activity is the influx of jihadists from other Arab States, Syria and Iraq in the first place. All of this reiterates that our calls to start collective hard-line efforts in order to fight this universal evil remain relevant. Besides, no one should use double standards, try to “make advances” to the radicals and use them for opportunistic purposes.
We are concerned about the situation with illegal migration. However the solution to this problem is not to be found in the realm of sanctions. True reasons for mass movement of population first and foremost have to do with dire social and economic situation and conflicts. Migrants are not the ones to be countered. The initial cause of the problem – this is something we should address.
All these tragic events emphasize how unstable the domestic situation in Libya is. What is happening now is the direct consequence of the collapse of Libyan statehood that happened after the events of 2011 and led the country to a catastrophic situation. We would want to believe that those who stand behind the implementation of this shady geopolitical scenario have come to realize their responsibility for the collapse of this State and the terrorist chaos that has overflown Libya’s African neighbors.
It is also obvious for us that setting forth military confrontation in Libya can only aggravate the situation. The number of deaths and injuries, as well as IDPs is growing. Urban infrastructure suffers destruction. Humanitarian organizations sound alarm.
There is simply no alternative to the political and diplomatic solution of the task to achieve national reconciliation and build up effective state institutions. It is with regret that we see the opposing sides lose trust to each other. On our part, we explain to all sides in Libya that it is our principal position to support political solutions and mediator efforts of the UN. As we have stated on many occasions, the central role in this process is assigned to the United Nations. We stand for prompt termination of military operations and rejection of aggressive rhetoric. It is vital that Libyan sides remain calm and reserved. Calls should be equally addressed to all sides.
In this context, we were optimistic as we learned about the ceasefire that the opposing sides achieved under mediation of Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Ghassan Salame. We hope this ceasefire will be sustainable and express our fullest support for the efforts of the Special Representative.
A problem that remains pressing for Libya is the illegal arms trafficking, the flows of which destabilize the security situation both in Libya and in Sahara-Sahel. In this regard we believe it crucial to keep from steps, i.a. those with regard to Libya’s arms embargo, that might aggravate the process of establishing dialogue and interaction between the key Libyan political forces.
We remain convinced that it is counter-productive to appoint culprits among Libyan opposing sides. Attempts to assign responsibility selectively will only escalate tension and obscure prospects of resuming political process in Libya.
I thank you.