Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by representative of the Russian Federation Ivan Khoroshev at UNSC briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question


We thank Tor Wennesland for the informative briefing. We also followed closely the remarks by Ms. Mai Farsakh and Ms. Meredith Rothbart.

Stagnation of the Middle East settlement multiplied by the lack of solution to its core issue – the Palestinian problem – creates a steady hotbed of tension in the region. After the escalation of violence that happened in May 2021 abated, the problems of maintaining a ceasefire, providing humanitarian assistance to the affected Palestinians, reanimating the peace process have become very pressing. Against this backdrop, we see the continuation of unilateral actions that are fraught with dangerous consequences, among them expropriation and demolition of Palestinian property, construction of settlements, arbitrary detentions, violations of the status of Holy Sites, violence. We call on the Israeli authorities to abandon the practice of unilateral steps that create irreversible tendencies on the ground.

At the same time, we fully understand the need to account for Israel’s natural security concerns.

We believe that the primary goal is achieving a lasting stabilization, rejection of provocations and unilateral steps by the sides, creating conditions for resumption of the peace process on the universally recognized international legal basis, including the two-state formula.

It is noteworthy that high representatives who addressed the UNGA general debate adhered to similar positions. Remarkably, almost all who touched upon the issue of Middle Eastern settlement were unanimous in expressing support for the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation. Thus they reiterated that approaches of the global community to this issue remained unshakable.

Unfortunately, tension in the West Bank and in Gaza does not decline. In this regard, we call on both sides to act in a restrained manner, reject unilateral steps and provocative actions. The main short-term task is provision of urgent humanitarian assistance to the affected people in Gaza who urgently need aid.

Besides, there is a need to boost efforts that should help the Palestinian authorities overcome the socio-economic difficulties. COVID-19 continues to affect this sphere of life immensely. Palestinians cannot cope with the pandemic when acting alone.

We attach great significance to rendering comprehensive humanitarian assistance to people in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as Palestinian refugees in neighboring Arab states. We support the efforts of specialized international organizations, including UNRWA. We continue to interact with the conflicting sides, as well as international and regional stakeholders. On 9 September, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov met with the new Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Mr. Yair Lapid. We believe that in order to overcome the crisis, it is important to have the Palestinian problem back in the focus of attention of the new Israeli leadership, and also to have elections convened in the Palestinian territories.

Efforts aimed at consolidating the international consensus in favor of a just solution to the Palestinian problem must continue. We assign a special role in this process to the Quartet of international mediators for the Middle East, which remains the only internationally recognized mechanism to foster the Palestinian-Israeli settlement.

We also commend the efforts made by Egypt in order to overcome the internal Palestinian divide. Unless this is done, we will not be able to reanimate the peace process. We welcome the recent Palestinian-Jordanian-Egyptian summit that convened in Cairo and express our hope that it will be a landmark step towards ensuring some positive changes in the current status-quo, which is basically a dead end.

Thank you.