Remarks to the Press by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia before UNSC briefing on the Great Lakes region
Q: We're just a few days away from Minister Lavrov's visit. What is he hoping to achieve on this visit to New York?
A: He hopes to preside over two meetings, one on multilateralism, the other is on the Middle East settlement, both open debates. The both issues are topical. The true multilateralism and the false multilateralism are being widely discussed, referred to, and interpreted differently by member states. We would like to say what we consider to be a true multilateralism.
Q: And this is happening at the same time as debate is going on about the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. He's going to be meeting the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres. Is it make or break time?
A: Well, I wouldn't qualify it this way, but of course, the conversation on this issue is due, since we are approaching the deadline that we set for 18 May. As we said numerous times, we do not see progress that would assure us that the initiative is implemented on both tracks. Because there are two tracks of this initiative - the Grain Initiative for Ukraine and the Memorandum of Understanding between Russia and the UN, which provides for the export of the Russian grains and fertilizers, which is not being implemented despite all the efforts the Secretary-General is making. Of course, this conversation and dialogue will take place when Minister Lavrov meets Secretary-General Guterres.
Q: But no meetings planned with the US side?
A: Not that I know of. I told at the press conference that we're not evading any meetings. If there is a willingness on the part of the US, we will not run away from such a meeting.
Q: The Deputy Secretary-General has been talking about Afghanistan, about this meeting that's happening in Doha in a couple of weeks’ time, which I believe the Secretary-General is now going to preside over, and suggesting the idea that maybe there's a path to recognition. What's Russia's view on that?
A: I am not sure that the meeting is about the recognition. It's the meeting of the Special Envoys on Afghanistan by countries that have stakes and are active on Afghanistan. I understand the Secretary-General, as he shared it with some of the member states (me included), will be looking for the opinions of those Special Envoys on how they see the way out for Afghanistan. I'm not sure that this meeting is about the recognition as such.