Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Explanation of vote by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva after UNSC vote on a draft resolution on Somalia's sanctions regime


The Russian Federation abstained on the draft resolution put forward by Great Britain on the renewal of the sanctions regime for Somalia due to our disagreement with some of its provisions.

At the same time we must underscore that we welcome that this document made another step towards easing of the arms embargo. We believe we should prove to the countries under sanctions that the Council is heedful of their requests that are explained by the actual need to reinforce the state authority and national security sector.

The task of combating terrorism remains critical for Somalia and the region. This cannot be attained unless the destructive potential of Al-Shabaab is neutralized. By all means, the contribution of extra-regional stakeholders is very valuable. But in the long term, Somalis will have to learn (of course, not without some help) how to oppose this threat, no matter how hard it may be. But they will not be able to do this while the longstanding conflicts remain unresolved and unity of the country is not recovered. Somalia’s neighbors should become pillars providing consolidated support for these processes under the auspices of the African Union and other regional associations.

Against the backdrop of Somalis’ disunity, external forces must not be allowed to use their paramilitary presences in Somalia for egoistic purposes while profiteering from the country’s unique geographical location and effecting enhanced militarization of the Horn of Africa. We consider further broad exemptions from the arms embargo not as a privilege, but as a special means that will help eliminate common-for-all threats. We proceed from the need to ensure equal and fair conditions for all in this matter and to maintain maximum transparency, including with regard to deliveries that should ensure the security of foreign paramilitary presences in Somalia.

We do expect that Africans will firmly rebuff any recurrence of colonial thinking. It is due to this deplorable phenomenon (rather than concern for peace) that some UNSC members are not ready to exclude issues pertaining to bilateral relations of Djibouti and Eritrea from the Somali agenda. We would very much want to believe that these two states that have been through many moments of crisis, will continue to move wisely and patiently along the path of dialogue and rapprochement of positions. This is the only right choice that Russia views with respect.

We remain concerned over the dual approach to the issue of Al-Shabaab, which erodes the global counter-terrorist focus. The true nature of this structure which is affiliated with ISIL and Al-Qaida does not raise any doubts, no one argues against the danger that it poses. But for some reason, Al-Shabaab is kept afar from the specialized Committee 1267/1989/2253. The resolution that was adopted makes another step in this direction that we believe is wrong. The resolution puts it down in writing that Al-Shabaab is addressed by Committee 751 (though it is political by its essence) which oversees Somalia’s sanctions. Thereby the entirety of opinions of regional states on that matter was not taken on board.

Thank you.