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17 Oct, 2023 16:48

West has taken UN Security Council ‘hostage’ – Moscow

Western interests prevent the global body from addressing the current conflict in the Middle East, Russia’s envoy says
West has taken UN Security Council ‘hostage’ – Moscow

The work of the United Nations Security Council is being held up by Western interests, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, claimed on Tuesday. His comments came after the council rejected Russia’s draft resolution on the Israel-Gaza conflict.

The resolution condemned all acts of terrorism, as well as all violence against civilians, and called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian armed groups. It also insisted on the release of all hostages.

The document failed to gain the necessary nine votes for adoption. It was supported by Russia, China, the United Arab Emirates and Mozambique, while the US, Great Britain, France and Japan voted against, and six countries abstained. 

“We regret that the UN Security Council has once again become hostage to the aspirations of Western countries. This is the only reason why it was unable to send a clear, strong collective message aimed at de-escalating the situation,” Nebenzia said after the vote, calling it “the largest outbreak of violence in the Middle East in recent decades.”

Nebenzia said the entire world was waiting for the Security Council to take action to stop the bloodshed, but that Western delegations had “put an end to these expectations.”

The diplomat also noted that virtually none of the countries who opposed Russia’s resolution had provided any “fundamental reasoned objections,” except for one delegation, which he said failed to make any “substantive comments.”

US Permanent Representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield explained that Washington chose to vote against the Russia-drafted resolution because it did not contain an explicit condemnation of Hamas.

Before the vote, Nebenzia explained that the draft did not mention Hamas because the main focus was on the humanitarian component of the conflict.

The Palestinian armed group launched thousands of missiles at Israel and sent its militants across the border from Gaza on October 7, killing around 1,400 Israelis. 

Israel responded by declaring “war” on Hamas, establishing a blockade of Gaza, and conducting an unprecedented bombing campaign on the enclave that is soon expected to be followed up by ground offensive. Palestinian officials have reported over 2,800 fatalities in Gaza in the past 10 days.