Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, during the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Mali

The Russian delegation voted in favour of resolution 2374 (2017), mindful of the importance of maintaining the Council’s consensus support for the peace settlement in Mali.

We take note of the fact that the Malian Government, seeking to accelerate the stabilization of the northern territories, appealed to the Security Council, and we are concerned about the security situation and the resumption of clashes between the parties signatory to the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali.

At the same time, we note that the excessive use of restrictive measures may lead the Security Council to drift away from its direct obligations in the maintenance of international peace and security, ending armed conflicts and promoting the reconciliation of parties, and to deteriorate into a mere sanctions truncheon.

Whether sanctions are effective in other contexts is already the subject of serious doubt. Of the examples provided by the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Yemen, none points to the usefulness of sanctions in the process of a settlement. Indeed, the opposite is true. Sanctions antagonize, make it more difficult for the parties to negotiate and complicate the political process.

In our view, if we are to make progress in the matter, we need to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the Malian crisis. We must find out exactly what its sources and underlying causes are, and determine the sources of instability. We must not forget that the security situation in the Sahel degenerated after the foreign intervention in Libya in 2011 and the destruction of the Libyan State.

A few years ago, we proposed that a full-fledged plan of action be drafted for the Sahel region. We believe that the time has now come to seriously consider that option and to move away from the specific situation, basing our action on the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel. We are ready for active cooperation with all interested parties on both the Mali and the Sahel issues. 

I take this opportunity to inform the members of the Council of the following. As we all know, today at the Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa Summit, the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, declared that the Russian Federation would submit to the Security Council a draft resolution on the establishment of a United Nations mission to to strengthen the protection of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.

The presence there of United Nations peacekeepers, which would provide security for the OSCE Mission, is something that we deem to be appropriate. That would advance a solution to the problem in southeastern Ukraine.

Of course, however, one can only refer to the task of providing security to OSCE staff. Now, those forces must remain along the separating lines and not in any other territories. The issue can be resolved only after the two sides have been separated and heavy equipment has been removed.

We have sent a draft resolution to the President of the Security Council and the SecretaryGeneral, and we cherish the hope that in the near future it will be circulated to the members of the Council. We intend to convene relevant consultations at the expert level. Then, after the Security Council mission has returned from Ethiopia, we shall hold consultations at the Permanent Representative level.