Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at an open VTC of UNSC members on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

Mr. President,

We thank Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland and Director of the Coordination Division of UN OCHA Rein Paulsen for briefing us on the state of affairs in the Middle Eastern settlement and the humanitarian situation on the Palestinian territories.

We advocate for finding a just solution to the Palestinian problem on the basis of the ‘two-state’ principle and internationally recognized legal framework that provide for creating an independent Palestinian state within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. In the course of direct negotiations, the sides should also regulate other final status aspects, including the problems of borders, refugees, and water resources. Thereby, Israel’s security concerns must be taken into account.

On our part, we take steps to support the collective efforts, aimed at achieving equitable peace in the Middle East. We continue to engage with all interested stakeholders in the region, the Security Council, and the Quartet of international mediators. Among other things, we negotiate convening a ministerial meeting in the format “Quartet+” that would outline key tracks for our joint work aimed at overcoming the standstill in the Middle Eastern settlement. Also, we believe it reasonable to support the initiative of Palestinian President M.Abbas to convene an international conference on the Middle Eastern settlement.

We call upon the sides to act in a reserved manner, refrain from any provocative steps that may undermine the settlement efforts. This is especially relevant in view of the elections that have passed in Israel and are pending on the Palestinian territories. We hope that the electoral process will foster inner consolidation of both sides, i.a. regarding the need to relaunch negotiations. We proceed from the understanding that Palestinians throughout the entire territory must be guaranteed a right to elect and be elected.

We note the positive impact of the elections on overcoming the internal Palestinian controversies on the PLO platform, as well as the role of our Egyptian friends at this track. We are ready to provide assistance to these efforts.

We are concerned over Israel’s continuing settlement activity, i.a. in East Jerusalem. It undermines the prospects of creating a territorially contiguous Palestinian state.

Palestinians need assistance in responding to acute humanitarian and socio-economic problems on the occupied territories and in Gaza, especially amidst the spread of the coronavirus. It is particularly important that Palestinians and Israelis should interact with each other in the interests of countering the pandemic, i.a. in the context of vaccination. We attach great importance to continuation of the effective work of UNRWA that renders support to Palestinians both on the occupied territories and in the neighboring Arab states. We call to mobilize the resources of the international community to support the Agency. Russia renders assistance both to UNRWA and to Palestinians via bilateral channels.

Mr. President, 

Concluding, I would like to express our deepest regret regarding the major technical issues that occurred during this VTC, and mostly impacted our American colleagues. This clearly demonstrates that the Security Council cannot fully rely on the Internet in its work. We trust this is a good reason for all of us to finally make a decision to resume our in-person meetings in the SC chamber. As you know, Russia has consistently clung to this standpoint since October last year. We call on the Vietnamese (and subsequently – on Chinese) Presidency to take practical steps to resolve this long-overdue question.

Thank you.