Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on the political situation in Syria

Mme. President,

We thank Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, Geir Pederson, for his overview of the political situation in that country. We also listened carefully to Ms.Lubna Al-Kanawati, who has long lost her connections with Syria. It is probably hard to find something further from the truth than the fabrications and claims that we have just heard from her. We regret that the US Presidency of the Security Council has decided to turn our meeting into a farce and a useless anti-Syrian show.


We still see no alternative to advancing the Syrian-owned and Syrian-led political settlement with the assistance of the UN in strict compliance with Security Council resolution 2254 and with respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of that country.

In this regard, we are convinced of the need to continue direct inter-Syrian dialogue, the primary platform for which has been and remains the Constitutional Committee. At the same time, we continue to believe that fundamental decisions on the modalities of the further work of the Constitutional Committee and the venue for the next rounds of consultations should be made by Syrians themselves without external interference. It is them who need to make a decision on this platform or venue together with the Special Envoy and with the support of the guarantor countries of the Astana Format – Russia, Iran, and Türkiye. We support SESG’s proposed option to hold such meetings in Oman.

Mme. President,

Progress at the political track of the Syrian settlement is particularly needed now because the situation on the ground remains consistently tense. The major security threats to Syria and the entire region continue to be related to persistent large-scale hotbeds of terrorism. On August 10, in the east of the country (Deir ez-Zor Governorate), ISIL terrorists attacked a bus carrying Syrian soldiers. The attack killed and injured several dozens of people. We strongly condemn this act of terrorism and express our solidarity with the leadership and the people of the Syrian Arab Republic in their fight against terrorism.

I would once again like to stress that the terrorist threats to Syrians emanate from areas that are not controlled by the government. At the same time, one of the main factors of destabilization is the illegal military presence of the United States in cross-Euphrates area, as well as around Al-Tanf in the southeast of the country, where active recruitment and training of fighters for various terrorist groups, including ISIL, is underway. Against this backdrop, western states' “flirting” with terrorist elements and attempts to use them for own geopolitical gains does not stand up to any scrutiny. Washington's policy aimed at maintaining a de facto occupation of vast areas in the northeast of Syria, which are rich in oil, gas, and agricultural resources, as well as ongoing illegitimate sanctions pressure on Damascus leads to a further deterioration of the social and economic situation and contributes to mobilizing the extremist clandestine network in Syria.

In this regard, we stand in solidarity with the legitimate demands of the Syrian authorities for the withdrawal of all military contingents that are illegally located on the territory of the country. Sustainable stabilization in the Syrian Arab Republic can be achieved only through ending the foreign military presence that violates sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, and also through the unconditional cessation of regular air strikes by the Israeli air force, the most recent of which hit the suburbs of Damascus on the eve of today's meeting. This was the 22nd attack since the beginning of the current year.

Such steps that infringe on the sovereignty of Syria and neighboring Arab countries, as well as the lack of proper response to that from UN leadership cause our deep regret and condemnation.

Mme. President,

We believe that the return of Syria to the Arab family, as well as mutual steps towards restoring relations with Türkiye, contribute to the overall improvement of the atmosphere in the Middle East and to addressing the consequences of the Syrian crisis. In this context, we are convinced that persistent attempts by Western countries to interfere with these natural processes are counterproductive. We see such unconstructive steps as an interference in the sovereign decisions of states and politicization of such purely humanitarian issues as, for instance, facilitating the return of refugees whose host countries Lebanon, Jordan and Türkiye, are clear about the limits of their abilities for accommodation. As for Western donors, they are lamenting loudly the misfortunes of the Syrians, while at the same time they stubbornly refuse to help them return to their homeland, preferring to pay for their stay in host countries. We see this as yet another example of double standards of our Western colleagues.

For our part, we believe it is necessary to ensure the fundamental right of refugees to return home as stipulated in resolution 2254 of the Security Council provided that such efforts are carried out strictly in coordination with Damascus.

Thank you.

Video of the statement