Remarks to the press by Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations
Q: Secretary General called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and first and foremost at all the critical infrastructure places including Hodeida. Is this something you support?
A: Of course. First of all, this is not news. It has been discussed last week at the Security Council and Mark Lowcock briefed us about the most dire humanitarian situation in the world. Half of the population is on the brink of famine. You saw pictures in the press about the sever-year-old girl. You saw how dystrophic she looked. And I think this is a testimony. This is how a large part of population looks like in Yemen including children. And of course we have been advocating for the early and immediate cessation of hostilities wherever in and out of Hodeida, elsewhere, because we believe in political solution. It is the only thing that can bring peace back to Yemen, to this man-made conflict as many including SG today said about.
We support the Special Envoy’s efforts. We know that he is working on a peace plan that might bring parties together and finally finish this useless conflict, which has been protracted for four years already. Then of course we support what the Secretary-General said.
Q: The British and the Americans are keen to prepare some kind of resolution on the situation?
A: We didn’t come to that yet. But we first want to hear from Mr. Griffits on his new avenues that he is exploring. We’ll see what will come out of it. But there was some talk about a new document of a Security Council to support the peace process indeed. But that was just talk.
Q: Do you think that this is the right time to do something?
A: Possibly. Let’s see. You know that Russia is being mounted from all sides on the parties to stop hostilities. You saw what US were saying recently. And UK as well. And we had been saying that all the time. We believe in a political solution. That is the only possibility and the only option to end the conflict.
Q: What is your opinion about the new special envoy for Syria J.Peterson?
A: It does not matter what my opinion about who the new Special Envoy is. The most important thing that the Syrian Government is ready to work with him and that he will be impartial, objective, diplomatic and creative and trying to move forward the peace process. But we gave our consent to his appointment, so that basically betrays my opinion about this. But I never met him before. I don’t know him personally yet. But I’m sure it’ll happen soon.
Q: We know him because he was here as UN Ambassador. Good Ambassador.
A: That is what I heard. People keep saying that.
Q: Should he rely on what St. De Mistura has achieved or what the Russians did at the Astana process and Sochi?
A: I think that he should not throw out of the box anything that was achieved before he came. We have 2254 UNSC resolution which is the cornerstone to the UN and the basis for political settlement. Everything is written there and was later followed up by the Special Envoy, an Astana process and the Sochi, which came up with current developments on the establishment of the Constitutional Committee. These are all parts of the same puzzle that developed 2254. We do not counter Astana or Sochi to Geneva, and to 2254. We think that these are all elements that are contributing to the process of the political settlement.
Q: Do you think that Mr. De Mistura can actually get this Constitutional Committee off+ the ground before he leaves at the end of November?
A: If the lists are agreed upon by everyone, he can. I mean, he can do it before the end of November. It is not impossible. But the thing is that there is no artificial deadline for that. The main condition is that all parties agree to the lists. Two of them are, as you know, agreed upon and we have the third one which is still yet to be worked out, but the work is going on.