Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin at the briefing of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at the Security Council


We thank Mr.Filippo Grandi for the informative briefing.

Russia contributes meaningfully to promoting the international refugee protection regime and resolving migration-related problems. We carry out massive humanitarian action in many countries, take efforts to prevent and overcome crises. We assign high priority to boosting our cooperation with the UNHCR as a major international mechanism to address problems in the area of forced migration. We welcome the results of High Commissioner Grandi's visit to Moscow in June this year. The visit hosted an exchange of opinions that reiterated our mutual interest in promoting further interaction between Russia and the UNHCR.

We proceed from the understanding that in order to settle large-scale humanitarian crises, we need to engage mechanisms of multilateral cooperation under the central coordinating role of the United Nations. We positively assess the role of the UNHCR in enhancing the efficiency of international protection of refugees and other categories of individuals that fall under its responsibility. We note the UNHCR efforts to respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Our country supports, i.a. financially, the activity of the Refugee Agency at this track.

The most effective way to address the problem of forced migration is eradication of the root causes that make people abandon their homeland. In the first place, this can be done through political settlement in migrants’ countries of origin, as well as support for their socio-economic development, state-building process and fight against terrorism.

External interference in domestic affairs must be fully excluded. We believe that states that actively engaged in such interference, must now bear primary responsibility for the consequences of massive outflow of migrants and refugees.

The situation in Afghanistan raises our overriding concern. As reported by the UNHCR, due to scarce availability of critical services, the potential for forced migration has increased steeply in that country. The socio-economic situation has exacerbated, which creates risks of massive outflow of population from Afghanistan. We believe the international community (traditional Western donors in the first place) that used to be present in Afghanistan in the course of the recent 20 years and that stand largely responsible for the current developments in this country must provide effective help to the Afghan people in order to recover the country and prevent forced migration.

In the context of the Syrian settlement, the task of facilitating voluntary return of refugees comes to the forefront. In this regard, we once again draw attention to the Russian initiative on repatriation of Syrian refugees. We believe that creation of favorable conditions for the return of refugees and IDPs to places of their permanent residence is a top priority and an important step forward on the way to lasting stabilization in Syria. We are convinced that when back home, Syrians (whose socio-economic situation abroad becomes ever more complicated) will contribute meaningfully to recovery of their country. We call on the UNHCR to boost efforts that should encourage the global community to promote repatriation of Syrians.


We would welcome a more active engagement of the UNHCR in returning IDPs and refugees to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas, as stipulated in the Statement by the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan of 9 November 2020 on a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in the conflict area. We assume that it could involve comprehensive depoliticized assistance on the part of the UNHCR, with a focus on purely humanitarian nature of the outstanding tasks. We call on the UNHCR to set forth dialogue with Baku and Yerevan in order to be granted humanitarian access.

Thank you.