Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia before the UNSC vote on a draft resolution on the refrenda in the DPR, LPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions


We must say that some our colleagues in the Security Council have hit the bottom. The few proprieties that we believed remained in this chamber were infringed.

We know no cases when the Security Council adopted a resolution directly condemning one of its member states.  Do you seriously think we may support this draft? If no, you seem to be purposefully driving us towards using the veto in order to be able to blame us for abusing it later on. Such hostile steps by Western states mean that you refuse to interact and cooperate in the Council, and reject best practices and expertise that took years to elaborate. This is nothing more than a low-grade provocation, the purpose of which is well known.


On 27 September, we provided a detailed account of the causes and goals of the referenda held in the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. On 28 September, the final results of the referenda were announced. The sweeping majority of those who voted at the referenda supported accession of their respective regions to Russia: 99% in the DPR, 98% in the LPR, 93% in the Zaporozhye region, 87% in the Kherson region. Despite the complicated security situation and provocations of the Kiev regime, the overwhelming majority of those eligible to vote decided to cast a ballot – from 76 % in the Kherson region up to 97% in the DPR. The results of the vote are self-explanatory: the population of those areas does not want to get back to Ukraine and made a free and conscious choice in favor of our country.

The referenda were held in full compliance with the norms and principles of the international law, no matter how hard our Western opponents or even the Secretary-General (who all of a sudden decided to speak on behalf of the entire United Nations in the absence of such mandate) try to prove the opposite. More than 100 international observers from Italy, Germany, Venezuela, Latvia, and other states, who monitored the voting, also recognized the results to be legitimate. Washington, which is our most vehement critic today that keeps crying out about Ukraine’s territorial integrity, recently claimed ready to use force to protect Taiwan, which is an inalienable part of China. Blatant double standards again that is.  

Today the treaties were signed on the accession of the new entities to the Russian Federation. When our Parliament endorses this and the President signs the corresponding decrees, the free will of the people of Donbas, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions will be realized. There will be no stepback that today’s draft resolution tries to impose on us.

Kiev regime that put the interests of its Western sponsors above the interests of its people, pushed those regions away. So only Kiev is to blame for what happened. But it seems that the Maidan authorities have failed to draw any conclusions so far. Today we testify to another egregious crime by the Kiev regime. Ukrainian Nazis shot at people who were waiting to be admitted to Russia-controlled territory in the Zaporozhye region. Dozens of people died.

I must say that the Council did have a chance to adopt a truly well-balanced and useful document. We proposed some constructive amendments which would have received support from many delegations present here. We suggested pointing out that not only territorial integrity of all UN member states, but also the right of peoples to self-determination should be respected in accordance with the UN Charter and 1970 Declaration on the Principles of International Law. Another point was that under OSCE documents (which all Western states subscribed to by the way), security of states is indivisible, and no one must strengthen their security at the expense of others’ security.

We suggested that the draft resolution should highlight an objective fact – that UNSC members differ in their assessments of the results of the referenda. Who will argue with the fact that free expression of people’s will is a critical element of the democratic model? Maybe those who thought no referendum was needed in Kosovo?

Finally, we proposed to take down in the resolution the call of the Security Council to all involved sides to intensify their efforts to resolve the conflict diplomatically. Isn’t is what should be the goal of our joint efforts? It appears that our former Western partners once again confirmed that they want no peace in Ukraine. They dream of Russia’s defeat and, given outspoken animosity of the West, this sets completely different tasks for us.

The logic of the sponsors of this draft resolution becomes clear if we take a moment to consider the non-transparent mode for negotiations that they chose. The draft was negotiated at bilateral consultations, so Council members could not see what other members proposed.

We are all aware of both the goal and the fate of this draft resolution. Its authors sought to depreciate the efforts of the Security Council as the main body for maintenance of international peace and security, and use this platform as a warm-up before the main show in the General Assembly. In the GA, the West will use its old template to mobilize its resources and twist arms of all member states within its reach. Some will falter. But we would want to hope that many will withstand. Those, who are ready to stand their ground upholding their own opinion. Those who are ready to adopt independent policies and safeguard the principle of sovereign equality of states. Those who oppose hegemony of a single state and its satellites that do not consider other states as equal partners. We hope that UN member states will be able to remain unbiased while sorting out this situation and make the right choice.

Thank you.