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 Security Council meeting on agenda item "Report of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals"

Mr. President,

Let me welcome in the Security Council Chamber the new leadership of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals – President C.Agius and Prosecutor S.Brammertz. Thank you for your detailed reports.

However, ironically enough, in this situation the words of gratitude for such reports and for the activity mean that the mechanism under your lead is in a state of lasting violation of the main goal of resolution 1966. Counter to the recommendations of the Security Council, the tribunals that were established a quarter of a century ago turn out to be remarkably vivacious under a new banner.

We have already spoken about symbolism of this day. For some delegations, 17 July – date of adoption of the Rome Statute of the ICC – is a celebration of international criminal justice. As for us, we see no reason for joy. We believe that other events are far more meaningful in the context of this meeting. To our regret, these events were the tragic ones.

20 years ago, NATO air forces started a military operation against Yugoslavia, and throughout several months they carried out bombing-missile air attacks on the area of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. What suffered under those strikes were mostly civil facilities: residential areas of Belgrade, bridges, schools. These attacks claimed lives of hundreds of people, including children.

The ICTY in due time refused to hold an investigation of those crimes. Instead of this, the ICTY made up a myth about the exclusive responsibility of Belgrade for the war in the Balkans, whereby it severely punished Serbs and exonerated other participants of the civil war. Recall the unlikeable acquitting verdicts of General Ante Gotovina, “field commander” Naser Orić, Kosovar Albanian Ramush Haradinaj.

The Residual Mechanism caught this up. Contrary to the decision of a first instance court, the verdict of Serb Radovan Karadžić was revised and increased in severity. The appellation against the verdict of a life imprisonment for Ratko Mladić is under consideration. Such verdicts are always accompanied by an aggressive Media campaign and informational pressure on judges.

What was a surprise for us was a contempt case that appeared on the agenda of the Residual Mechanism and that had been initiated by the ICTY in the framework of proceedings against Vojislav Šešelj. We consider such steps to be another attempt to artificially prolong the existence of this mechanism.

The issue of timely and proper medical assistance to the accused remains pressing. We are quite concerned by the health status of Ratko Mladić. Independent sources cannot confirm that he receives quality medical check-ups and adequate treatment in the penitentiary facility of the Mechanism.

Mr. President,

We expect that after the Residual Mechanism has changed its leadership, the environment will improve both around and within this auxiliary body of the Security Council. As for now, we will not be paying out the part of our contribution to the UN budget that should be assigned to the IRMCT.

Mr. President,

In conclusion, I have one personal request to Prosecutor Brammertz, who in his statement said the following: “No one emerged unharmed, not in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Croatia, in Kosovo, in Serbia”. Mr. Brammertz, I kindly ask you to explain to your speechwriters that any mentioning of Kosovo in this chamber should be accompanied by the following endorsed clarification: “All references to Kosovo shall be understood as being in full compliance with Security Council resolution 1244”.

I thank you, Mr. President.