Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia after UNSC vote on a draft resolution on renewal of Mali's sanctions regime
Russia voted against the draft resolution on renewal of the sanctions regime as regards Mali.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that we have repeatedly called for a constructive approach and a reasonable compromise, the draft that was put forward to us took absolutely no account of the concerns of the Malian side and the position of the Russian Federation.
In our explanation before the vote we again provided a detailed account of reasons and considerations that underpinned our decision to vote against.
Nor did we conceal any of that during the negotiations process. We worked in a completely transparent manner, on the basis of concrete proposals and with the aim of reaching an acceptable compromise. All chances and opportunities for that were there until the very last moment. But we must state with regret that position of the Russian Federation was not taken on board and the meaningful step was towards accommodating Mali's official request was not made.
Therefore our vote against hardly came as a surprise to anyone.
We hope that in the future, sponsors of resolutions will prioritize pragmatic approach and the interests of the host country in order to avoid unnecessary confrontation in the Security Council. Especially in the circumstances where a compromise agreement could have been made if certain delegations had had the political will for that.
Right of reply:
We were not going to take the floor again. But now that you [representative of the United States] have made a statement in your national capacity, we need to add clarity.
We said that we call on our colleagues to demonstrate strategic wisdom and pragmatism by supporting our alternative draft resolution. We also said that position of African delegations on the Council had not been taken on board, according to which the sanctions regime should be preserved for some time. The US representative said it was about six months. Let me make this clear for all Council members that is not about six months, but about one year. And it is about preserving the sanctions regime to try and use its potential for promoting the implementation of the Algiers Agreement. But it is fundamentally important that these sanctions must aim at resolving this exact task rather than turn into an instrument for exerting external pressure on Mali’s domestic political problems. All the more so with the help of the Panel of Expert which has long exhausted its potential and needs to be shut down. After all, we did close the Panel of experts on Guinea Bissau back in the day without any dramatic consequences to follow.
We once again call on the Security Council to heed our words and vote in favor of our draft. Let me say it again to the US representative, this time for the record, that after and if this resolution is not adopted, there will be no getting back, no discussions of a new draft.