Remarks to the press by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia following procedural action at the reconvened 11th emergency special session of the UN General Assembly (the issue of Ukraine)
Q: What is your reaction to the procedural excitement?
A: It was outrageous. I have never seen such manipulations by the General Assembly ever before, at least in my time here. I am not sure that you can trace back in history anything similar to what happened today.
I regret to say it, but today President of the GA not only played on the side of our opponents on the resolution, but also did everything to manipulate the procedure of the General Assembly. He did not listen to what we said. He took as an objection what was not an objection. He put the question wrongly on the proposal by Albania – the proposal we never made and never explained. Then he did not let us make another point of order. Then came all the rest – he treated us asking for a vote on our motion as if we were asking to repeat what had been done already, which was not so, because it was a different question. So [it led to] total disappointment about the way the meeting was conducted.
Q: You said a different subject. But it was a similar subject – the one regarding the secret ballot. You would not have won your motion would you?
A: Perhaps, I do not know that. The point is that what Albania suggested was sticking to Rule 87B. Fine. It’s on the GA rules of procedure. Our proposal was to suspend Rule 87 altogether. So this is obviously two different proposals, where the second does not repeat the first. But he simply denied us an opportunity to have it voted. As for the reason, to us it is very clear. For the same reason, he separated the vote on procedural matters and the action on the draft resolution itself. As you may have noticed, we requested the voting on the draft resolution immediately. He said it was not the practice of the General Assembly and not what happens during the debate on the issue, although he himself also applied a practice that was not characteristic of a procedural motion at UNGA. So this is clear double standards and violation of the integrity of the Presidency
Q: Can we ask you too about missile strikes earlier on today? They seem to have hit a number of civilian targets, and they have been very strongly condemned by the Secretary-General as escalation.
A: I only know that the strikes have been made. I know that for many days and weeks now the Russian side was warning Ukrainians, and giving them time to refrain from acts of sabotage. But they still performed it. You know that on Saturday they undertook an act of sabotage at the Crimean bridge. It was unequivocally said that this is critical civilian infrastructure for Russia. So it is definitely related to what happened. When speaking today, President Putin did not make it a secret.
Q: Do you think you are winning the war?
A: You ask me things, which are not for me to decide. What do you mean by “winning the war” or “losing the war”? We are making the goals of the special operation fulfilled, and fulfilled they will be.
Q: It isn’t a special operation, Ambassador, it is a war. You are calling more and more soldiers, it must be a war.
A: You may call it whatever you like. I call it what we call it.