Right of reply by Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, during the general discussion at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly
We would like to react to some statements addressed to the Russian Federation that were made at the meeting of 9 October on behalf of the EU, the Northern Group, as well as by the delegations of Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, Iceland, Lichtenstein, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States, Finland, and Germany.
Unfortunately, statements by those states in the First Committee have largely become yet another part of campaign for disinformation and demonization of Russia’s actions at the global stage. The Western countries again attempt to groundlessly accuse Russia of all “deadly sins” in the area of international security. We are blamed for breach of agreements in the field of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, non-compliance with the regime of non-proliferation of chemical weapons, aggressive ambitions with regard to enhancement of our military capacity.
All these accusations have one thing in common – they are no more than anti-Russian slogans without any evidence behind them. Our Western partners, as usual, try to create a parallel reality of their own, where Russia bears sole responsibility for all their misfortunes, and then to impose this vision on everyone in the global community. They feel very comfortable in such a reality which provides a disguise for all their unconstructive and exceedingly dangerous steps.
However, the real facts are as follows. It is the United States that started to erode the architecture of agreements in the area of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. It is the US that unilaterally quitted the ABM Treaty, the INF Treaty, the JCPOA, that is withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty, that defied ratification of the CTBT and the modified CFE, refused to work on creating a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. The United States has not yet implemented its obligations under the CWC, prevents strengthening of the BTWC regime, violates the NPT. It is Washington that modernizes its strategic nuclear forces, creates new types of ammunition and its carriers. Besides, it does not shy away from stating that it is going to use its nuclear arsenal as it deems appropriate, without regard to the effective regimes.
We clearly see that the real reasoning behind the US actions is the desire to have a free hand at the global arena. All the aforementioned agreements and regimes but get in the way of the US side, that is why it deliberately undermines them. Thus all accusations that are thrown onto us are nothing more than an attempted blame shifting. Anyone who bothers to turn to facts will easily make sure of that.
Same story with the renewal of the New START. We have been saying from the very beginning that we are ready to extend the treaty without any preconditions. But the American side constantly “ups the stakes” by either coming up with growingly absurd reasons not to do so or by putting forward clear ultimatums. Once again they would try to convince us that there exists some sort of a parallel reality where the planet has three rather than two major nuclear powers.
We deeply regret that the United States and its allies would try to propel into the orbit of its disinformation campaign not only separate states, but also Secretariats of international organizations, thus irreparably damaging their reputation. The most vivid example of this is the OPCW. It is very sad that this stance has affected the work of the UNGA First Committee. As one of the founders of the OPCW Russia is genuinely concerned with its fate. We do not want this reputable mechanism to become a puppet in the hands of separate states that use it to punish the “unwanted” and promote geopolitical interests of their own. However, this is exactly what we are seeing now. There is enough proof that its Technical Secretariat has been engaged in violations, manipulations, falsifications. For its part, Russia has helped to provide concrete evidence of this to the Security Council members – at the UNSC meetings on the progress of resolution 2118 in September – October 2020, as well as at an “Arria-formula” meeting on 28 September 2020. So far no one has been able to debunk these facts, including the delegations that are present here today and that so eloquently defend the TS.
The same story repeats itself with the alleged poisoning of Russian blogger A.Navalny, which some countries found it necessary to mention. It all reduces to unsubstantiated allegations in the spirit “who else if not Russia could have done this”. Meanwhile, there was and there still is no evidence of that, it allegedly being classified. At the same time, the West would reject point blanc to interact with Russia., simply ignoring our repeated queries to cooperate and provide legal assistance. Even the OPCW could not certainly determine the chemical nature of the cholinesterase inhibitors that were found in A.Navalny’s biological materials, which could be related to alcohol or heavy medicines. This looks even more cynical against the fact that the British side has not provided even any elementary explanation on the so called Skripal case.
We call on the Western countries to stop twisting facts; throwing baseless accusations at countries that scrupulously comply with the CWC; scheming to promote their geopolitical interests. We need to take responsibility for the fate of the OPCW and for maintaining international peace and security.
We would hope that, instead of empty talk and all sorts of manipulations, our Western colleagues will finally have interest in true cooperation and dialogue. Our common home will only benefit from that.
In response to the statements by representatives of Germany and the US:
My German colleague very timely discharged another portion of insinuations with regard to the so-called Navalny case. Once again, I would like to make a point to our German friends: the evidence you publish in Media and not show to us is very unconvincing. In Russia one cannot bring a criminal case without evidence. Probably in Germany it is a normal way to go, but not in Russia. Our Prosecutor General’s Office has sent 4 requests, to which it received only one non-committal response. In order to proceed with a conversation on this case, we need our German and European colleagues to cooperate. It will not work out otherwise, and everyone will clearly see that this is all about a mere provocation. At least this is what it looks like now.
Besides, the US representative who has just taken the floor, tried to create an impression that every problem in the area of arms control has only one reason and originates from China’s unwillingness to sit down at the negotiations table together with Russia and the US. This is an erroneous vision. Russian-American bilateral agenda in this area has not been exhausted yet. Next on line is the issue of New START’s renewal which is crucial for the whole world, but which China has nothing to do with. Should we address prospects of having a multilateral talk in this area, it must base on a consensus without external pressure. To us it is obvious that in such case France and the UK should be the first to join the discussion, as their nuclear capacities, if put together, significantly surpass that of China.