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 after the UNSC vote on draft humanitarian resolution in Ukraine


First of all, let me thank the countries that supported and co-sponsored our draft resolution.

This vote exposed all who place politicizing of the humanitarian file above the UN support for providing humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainians in need. Today we heard several delegations, in particular the delegation of the United States say that they want no part in a resolution that was proposed by Russia. Why did you abstain then? You should have voted against. We clearly see the true motifs of your abstentions – you did not want to use the veto, which you would do in other situations. We were rather puzzled over the representative of Mexico making a reference to the historical background of this resolution. According to him, we almost unexpectedly put the resolution to vote. Well, in reality the initial authors of the draft resolution that we generally supported (except for its politicized paragraphs) hastily and without explicit consultations with Council members, us in particular, moved their draft to the General Assembly. Only then did we put forward our own draft resolution to the Security Council.

Let’s have another look at the steps and measures that our Western colleagues prevented from being endorsed for political reasons. Our draft resolution contained such crucial elements as a call to establish a ceasefire and have humanitarian pauses to facilitate safe evacuation of civilians, as well as enabling unimpeded exit (free from any discrimination) from the territory of Ukraine to all those willing to leave; a call to not attack critical infrastructure; calls to not place heavy equipment in residential quarters and densely populated areas; protection of humanitarian and medical personnel; proper protection of the sick and wounded; humane treatment of detainees; protection of civilians, especially women and children.

So, dear colleagues, when you start wailing here or at the General Assembly that some of the points I listed might not be implemented, we will remind you that you had them all in front of you, but you refused to vote to support them for political reasons. You had a choice and you made your choice.

We again heard some delegations accuse Russia of preparing and using chemical and biological weapons in Ukraine. We again heard the notorious fakes (that we had repeatedly debunked) regarding the events in Mariupol, regarding bombardments and killings of people standing the lines. I will not list all, because we spoke about it many times. Unfortunately, no one would listen and no one would hear that.

As for biological and chemical weapons, let me say again that this is an unthinkable accusation against Russia. Trust me, we have other methods of warfare, and we do not need to use biological or chemical weapons. Attempts to accuse Russia of that are despicable. Besides, we have long eliminated all such weapons.

The lack of a Security Council humanitarian resolution on Ukraine will surely make things more complicated for the humanitarians who work on the ground. It will allow the Ukrainian side to keep ignoring the demands for a ceasefire, needed to evacuate people via humanitarian passages. Kiev will continue using civilians as a “human shield” and, contrary to the international humanitarian law, placing heavy armaments in the vicinity of hospitals and kindergartens.

As for humanitarian deliveries, we will seek to solve this task, as we used to be solving it for Donbas (whose sufferings you choose to disregard) in the course of eight years.

The representative of Great Britain today reminded that we are all one human race. I agree. Unfortunately, many countries including Great Britain chose to not remember it in some other episodes. I will not mention all of them. I think this is not the right moment to do the citing. We regret all victims of conflicts, every human life is priceless. I could, but I will not remind what officials of states, i.a. those represented at this table said regarding mass deaths of civilians (including children) in conflicts.

At all areas under the Russian control, people already have access to basic goods and food. We are convinced that as the special military operation achieves its goals, the situation will improve.

We call on you to not politicize the humanitarian agenda. We regret that the Security Council was not able to adopt a resolution that would facilitate solving those issues. Nevertheless, we do trust that both us and members of the global community who are genuinely interested in this, will do their best to improve the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and alleviate suffering of civilians.

Thank you.