Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on the political situation in Syria


We thank Special Representative Pedersen and Ms. Hussain for their briefings.

Despite the overall military and political stabilization, the situation in Syria remains tense. 60 % of the population encounter risks of famine. Socio-economic and humanitarian situations deteriorated first of all due to the illegal economic restrictions that Western states had imposed by sidestepping the Security Council and counter to the appeal of the UN Secretary-General to waive sanctions amidst a pandemic. We consider this as continuation of efforts aimed at overthrowing the legitimate government by means of economic suffocation.

Areas out of control of the Syrian Government remain a zone of instability - Idlib that is ruled by terrorists from HTS and territories in the north-east . We are concerned by the reports about unstopping clashes in the cross-Euphrates region and in Syria’s north. Full sovereignty of Syria still has not been restored, which explains the remaining security challenges. In the meantime, ISIL terrorists take advantage of this. Another threat to stability and security both in Syria and in the entire region is posed by orchestrated campaigns aimed at ethnic and religious division of the country.

We condemn Israeli airstrikes on the Syrian territory that become more and more frequent. This complicates efforts to stabilize the situation in Syria and the region.

The Syrian conflict has no military solution. It can only be settled by promoting sustainable political process on the basis of UNSC resolution 2254 under UN assistance. Respect for sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria remains imperative.

At the political track, we support G.Pedersen’s efforts. We proceed from importance of convening the 6th session of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva. We call on all sides to engage in constructive interaction in order to boost effectiveness of the inter-Syrian dialogue. This dialogue is not an easy thing, therefore it is important to support it in every possible way. At the same time, this process must remain Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, free of external interference and artificial deadlines, supported by neutral UN mediation. We are convinced that inter-Syrian dialogue should not be the hostage of technical modalities. We continue to encourage Syrians to start negotiations while acting both in our national capacity and within the “Astana format” together with Turkey and Iran. We plan to convene “Astana’s” next regular meeting soon.

Russia takes maximum efforts to promote peaceful settlement in Syria. But almost every its aspect encounters counteraction. Take the CW dossier: thanks to joint efforts, the Syrian CW arsenal was destroyed. But then our partners managed to reduce Syria’s chemical file to just another element of pressure on the SAR authorities.

We also try to bring down politicization of the humanitarian file, help establish constructive contacts between Damascus and the UN in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches all Syrians while respecting basic humanitarian principles set out in GA resolution 46/182.

We commend the efforts taken by the Syrian Governments in the area of post-conflict recovery and creating normal living conditions for its people, including refugees. However the authorities alone cannot shoulder the whole burden of recovery. The international community needs to help Syria get back to peaceful life by implementing projects for early recovery of the infrastructure. In this regard, we call to support the initiative of the President of the ICRC, Mr.P.Maurer on restoration of basic infrastructure facilities in the SAR. We agree with ICRC’s assessment that the lack of solutions at this track threatens to proliferate the humanitarian disaster not only in Syria, but also in its neighboring states.

Thank you