Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UN Security Council briefing on Afghanistan

Mr President,

We would like to thank the UN Secretary-General for his thoughts and views on the situation in Afghanistan.

We would also like to thank the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan Ambassador Ghulam M. Isaczai. We are closely following the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan. As soon as the withdrawal of foreign forces was announced, we all heard worrying reports about an escalation of violence and the number of victims. Furthermore, as we have seen, major Afghan cities fell without much resistance.

It has been only ten days since the recent discussion of Afghanistan in the Security Council. However, the situation in the country has changed beyond recognition over that time. Today, all of our eyes are on Kabul, which yesterday was quickly abandoned by the country's leaders, ordinary Afghanis, and also a part of the diplomatic corps. It is clear that such a sharp turnabout took everyone by surprise, including those who very recently made public pronouncements about the high degree of military preparedness of the Afghan law enforcement that have been prepared and trained over the past 20 years.

We continue to closely monitor the situation in the country. Currently, we believe that there is no point in panicking. Most importantly, a widespread bloodbath among civilians has been avoided. We call on all Afghan parties to refrain from hostilities and foster a settlement by peaceful means.

We believe that the international community must not cease efforts to help Afghanistan achieve national reconciliation. This is what the extended “Troika” - Russia, the US, China, and Pakistan robustly engaged in. We believe that Iran could play an important role here as well.

As regards our further official steps regarding the Taliban, we will determine them while proceeding from concrete developments and the Taliban’s specific actions.

According to our reports, the Taliban already started bringing public order and also confirmed security guarantees for civilians and staff of foreign diplomatic missions. We trust that in the current situation, the security of diplomatic personnel and the UN presence in Afghanistan will be insured and their institutions will enjoy immunity. In these circumstances, the Russian Embassy in Kabul is continuing to operate normally.

Mr President,

We still have concerns over the remaining terrorist threat in Afghanistan, including that posed by “ISIL-Khorasan”, whose terrorist activity is likely to spill across Afghanistan's borders and thus threaten the security of neighboring countries in Central Asia. Terrorism is inextricably linked to the drugs problem.

The deteriorating situation in Afghanistan over recent months has led to a steep worsening humanitarian situation. Numerous reports about the number of IDPs and the flows of refugees across the country's borders raise great concern. It creates an additional burden for Afghanistan’s neighboring States, including Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Pakistan. Not to mention the risk of fighters infiltrating the region, i.a. by pretending to be refugees. We maintain regular contact with all five Central Asian countries, both bilaterally and through regional organizations - the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

Mr. President,

We remain interested in a swift peaceful settlement and a subsequent stabilization in Afghanistan, and its post conflict recovery. We are convinced that an end to the many-year-long deadly war and having a national reconciliation would be beneficial for all: the people of Afghanistan, its regional neighbors, and the world as a whole.

Thank you.