Theater of Cruelty

Principles in the UN Charter of effective multilateralism and equal cooperation

UNITED NATIONS: NEW TEN / prints here Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's speech to the UN Security Council in New York on 20 September 2023. He emphasizes that the UN Charter is the cornerstone of today's international legislation – which has not been followed in terms of peace and security in Ukraine. Lavrov also points out that the Ukrainian constitution states that the state is obliged to respect the Russians and other ethnic minorities. In Lavrov's view, it is the Western countries that do not want to overcome the deep crisis that has arisen in international relations. Here you have the opportunity to (and with ORIENTERINGs several articles) to read and evaluate yourself.


Sir. president, general secretary, colleagues.

The international order as it exists today arose on the ruins of the Second World War and has its background in this enormous tragedy. The UN Charter forms the cornerstone as the most important source of today's international law. It is largely thanks to the United Nations that a new world War, which could have led to a nuclear disaster, has been averted.

Because that call the war was over, unfortunately the US-led, collective West usurped the right to direct the entire destiny of humanity. And driven by an exceptionalism, it began to ignore the UN's founders more and more often and to an ever greater degree. Today, the West uses the pact's regulations and principles as it suits them on a case-by-case basis, depending on how it serves their own geopolitical interests. This causes the world to become unbalanced, old global conflicts grow, and new ones arise. To reduce conflicts and find peaceful solutions have Russia insisted, and continues to insist, that everyone share The UN Charter are respected and taken into account. These form a coherent whole and are not detached individuals. This applies, for example, to the principle of equality between countries, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, respect for territorial integrity and the right of peoples to self-determination. All are included as important individual parts, but must be considered as a whole. However, we see that the balance between the demands laid down in the pact is being trampled on by the US and its allies.

The US and its allies have systematically interfered Ukraines internal affairs since the dissolution of the Soviet Union [in 1991] in an obvious way, when the Soviet Union was replaced by independent individual states. At the end of 2013, US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland admitted publicly, and even with some pride, that USA had spent $5 billion to pay politicians in Kiev who were willing to do the West's bidding.

The facts about how the crisis in Ukraine arose have long been known. Everything is being done to sweep this under the carpet because they have wanted to ignore everything that happened before 2014. That is why the topic of today's meeting, as proposed by the Albanian government, is so important. It gives us the opportunity to recreate the course of events on the basis of the way in which the main actors have broken with the purpose and principles of the UN Charter.

In 2004 and 2005, the West tried to install a pro-American candidate to lead Ukraine. Therefore, they gave the green light for the first assassination attempt against the government in Kiev. They forced the parliament of Ukraine to adopt and hold a third round of the presidential election, even though the country's constitution did not authorize this.

The West acted even more brutally when in 2013 and 2014 they infiltrated Ukraine during the second Maidan uprising. At that time, people from the West visited the country, one after another, to encourage the participants in the demonstrations against the government to use violent means. It was the same Victoria Nuland who discussed the future cabinet to be installed in consultation with the US ambassador. At the same time, she showed where the European Union belongs on the international political stage, as Washington sees it. We remember the two words she said ["Fuck EU"] and it's quite telling that EU accepted this.

It was decided to remove everything that was Russian, including education, media and culture, as well as the destruction of books and monuments, and the banning of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The main actors in the bloody coup d'état in February 2014 were handpicked by the Americans and participated in a bloody coup in February 2014. Let me remind you that this coupit was organized the day after Ukraine's legally elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, had entered into an agreement with the leaders of the opposition, and then with Germany, Poland and France as guarantors. The principle of non-interference in internal affairs was trampled upon – again and again.

Soon after the coup d'état, the coup plotters stated that their main priority was to limit the rights of the Russian-speaking population. They called the residents on Krim and in the south-eastern regions that refused to accept the illegal coup, for "terrorists" and took punitive measures against them. Crimea and Donbass responded to this by organizing elections in full compliance with the principle of the equal right of peoples and the right to self-determination, a right enshrined in Article 1, paragraph 2 of The UN Charter.

The Ukrainian neo-Nazis who seized power in Kiev, did not represent the population of Crimea or Donbass. In the case of Ukraine, Western diplomats and politicians have turned a blind eye to this fundamental principle of the basic rule of international law. They argued that these elections alone constituted an unacceptable breach of territorial integrity. In this connection, I would like to recall the UN declaration of 1970 on international law concerning peaceful relations and cooperation between nations. It states that the principle of territorial integrity applies to "states that adhere to the principles of equal rights and self-determination and thus have a government that represents all who live in the area". It is clear that the Ukrainian neo-Nazis who seized power in Kiev neither represented the population of Crimea nor of Donbass. As for the clear support given by the Western capitals to the criminal regime in Kiev, it was nothing short of a violation of the principle of self-determination, in addition to unlawful interference in national affairs.

After this coup, the presidency passed to Peter Poroshenko and then Vladimir Zelensky in Ukraine racist laws to remove all that is Russian, including education, media, culture as well as destruction of books and monuments, banning of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and confiscation of their assets.

They are now discussing making it a criminal offense to use their own native Russian language.

All this was a clear abuse against article 1, paragraph 3 of the UN Charter, which states that human rights and fundamental freedoms must be respected for everyone without regard to race, sex, language or religion. In addition, the laws violated the Ukrainian constitution, which states that the state is obliged to respect the Russians and other ethnic minorities.

When one hears the demand to follow the so-called peace formula, and to return Ukraine to the borders of 1991, the following question arises: Are those who demand this, aware of the declaration of the Ukrainian leadership about what they intend to do with the people who live in these areas? These people have been subjected to public threats of being wiped out, legally or physically. Not only has the West been unwilling to withhold its support for Kiev, but it has enthusiastically encouraged its racist policies.

Similarly, the EU and NATO for decades encouraged Latvia and Estonia in their efforts to deny rights to hundreds of thousands of Russian-speaking citizens by characterizing them as non-citizens of the country. They are now discussing making it a criminal offense to use one's own mother tongue. Senior officials have publicly stated that providing information to students on how to attend classes remotely at Russian schools must be considered a national security risk and will lead to prosecution.

Angela Merkel, François Hollande and Peter Poroshenko said publicly that they had no intention of following through on the decisions when they signed the Minsk agreement.

But let me return to Ukraine. The UN Security Council approved support for The Minsk Agreement of February 2015 with reference to Article 36 of the UN Charter which supports "any measure aimed at resolving differences between the parties". In this case, Kiev, DPR and LPR [Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic] were included. However, not without some satisfaction, all the signatories of the Minsk Agreement, (apart from Vladimir Putin) i.e. Angela Merkel, François Hollande and Peter Poroshenko, publicly declared that they had no intention of following through on the decisions when they signed. What they wanted was to buy time to strengthen Ukraine's military by supplying the country with more weapons to fight Russia. For all these years, the EU and NATO have supported Kiev in their sabotage of the Minsk agreement, while encouraging them to use force to resolve the disagreement in Donbass. All this in violation of Article 25 of the UN Charter, which states that all UN members must "accept and implement the decisions of the Security Council".


Let me remind you that the Minsk agreement was supported by the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine. There, Berlin and Paris undertake several tasks, including helping Donbass restore its banking system. However, they did not lift a finger to do this. What they did was to silently witness Peter Poroshenko imposing a trade, economic and transport blockade against Donbass, despite all the commitments. In the same declaration, Berlin and Paris undertook to facilitate trilateral cooperation between the EU, Russia and Ukraine to highlight Russia's involvement in trade, and also to promote "the creation of a humanitarian and economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific". The UN Security Council acceded to this [written] declaration, making it binding under Article 25 of the The UN Charter, as I have already mentioned. But this commitment, which the leaders of Germany and France undertook, proved to have zero value and became another example of the breach of the UN Charter.

The legendary foreign minister of the USSR, Andrej Gromyko, often said, and rightly so, that "ten years of conversation is better than one day of war". In line with this axiom, we have spent many years in talks where we have sought agreement on European security. We endorsed the Russia-NATO Basic Agreement and endorsed the OSCE Declaration on Indivisible Security at the Highest Level in 1999 and 2010. Since 2015, we have insisted that The Minsk Agreement was realized without exception as agreed during the talks. We referred here to the UN Charter, which emphasizes the establishment of "relationships where justice and respect for obligations resulting from agreements and other sources of international law". Our Western colleagues have also trampled on these principles by signing the documents, knowing that they did not want to fulfill them.

Nor will we now refuse to hold talks. The president of Russia has said this repeatedly, most recently very recently. I would like to remind the Minister of Foreign Affairs that the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, has signed a decree prohibiting talks with the government of Vladimir Putin. If the US is interested in such talks, it is only for them to give Zelensky's order to cancel this decision.

Today, the rhetoric of our opponents is full of slogans like 'invasion', 'aggression', 'annexation'. They do not say in one word what is the core of the problem, namely that for many years they have supported a rule of law Nazi regime who have rewritten the narrative from World War II and the history of their own people. The West does not want to have a substantive discussion based on facts and respect for all assumptions in the UN Charter, probably because they did not want an honest and open dialogue.

Donbass was to be reintegrated into Ukraine on the condition that a guarantee was given that they were given full respect for fundamental human rights, primarily the right to their own language.

One gets the strong impression that Western representatives are afraid of professional dialogues where their empty rhetoric is exposed. While singing their songs of territorial integrity in Ukraine, the former colonial powers remain silent on the UN resolution inviting France to return the island of Mayotte to Comros, and Britain to give up the Chagos Islands and to resume negotiations with Argentina over the Falkland Islands. The lawyers for Ukraine's territorial integrity seem to have forgotten the core of the Minsk agreement, which states that Donbass should be reintegrated into Ukraine on the condition that full respect for basic human rights, primarily the right to one's own language, is guaranteed. The West, which thwarted this, is directly to blame for Ukraine's disintegration and for inciting civil war.

As for the principles of the UN Charter that could have prevented security crises in Europe and helped with confidence-building measures based on a balance between interests, I would quote Article 2 of Chapter VIII. It encourages the development of consensus in local disputes through regional organisations.

In accordance with this principle, Russia and its allies have systematically encouraged contact between CSTO extension (Collective Security Treaty Organization) and NATO to promote follow-up of resolutions on comprehensive security adopted by the OSCE [Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe] in 1999 and 2010. It states that "no state, group of states or organization shall have superior authority to maintain peace and stability in the CSTO area or to consider the CSTO area as its sphere of influence".

It is clear to everyone that this is precisely what NATO has done. They have tried to establish total dominance, first in Europe, and now also in the Asia and Pacific region. Repeated calls from the CSTO to NATO have been ignored. The reason for the arrogance of the US and its allies is their reluctance to discuss with anyone at all. If NATO had not rejected the CSTO's offer of cooperation, this could have prevented many of the negative processes that have led to the current crises in Europe. These are caused by their refusal to listen to Russia for decades.

When today we discuss 'Effective multilateralism' at the initiative of the presidency, we should remember all the times the West has rejected any form of equal cooperation. A shocking example is the phrase to Joseph Borrel, who said that "Europe is a garden, the rest of the world is mostly a jungle". This is a clear neo-colonial syndrome and evidence of disrespect for sovereignty and equality between states. The goal must be to use efficient multilateralisme to defend the principles of the UN Charter that we are discussing today.

The US and its allies have increasingly openly taken over the secretariat of international organizations to prevent international cooperation from becoming more democratic. They violate established procedures to create systems of non-consensus that they can control and use to condemn anyone who does not please them Washington.

In this connection, I would like to remind you that it is not only the member states, but also the UN Secretariat that must strictly comply with the UN Charter. It is stated in Article 100 of the UN Charter that the UN Secretariat must make decisions without bias, and "shall not seek or receive instructions from any government".

I have already mentioned Article 2 of the UN Charter and would like to point to its main principle: "The organization is based on the principle of equality for all members.” In accordance with this, the UN General Assembly decided on 24 October 1970, as I have previously mentioned, to confirm that "every country has a completely independent right to choose its politics and economy, and its social and cultural system, without interference in any way from other states”.

In this connection, we have some serious questions for the Secretary-General António Guterres, who on 29 March 2023 said that "authoritarian leadership is no guarantee of stability, but a catalyst for chaos and conflict", while "strong democratic regimes exist where self-correction and self-improvement are possible. They can enable change – even radical change – without the shedding of blood and the use of force”. This brings to mind the "changes" that followed the measures of the "strong democratic regimes" in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and many other countries. Guterres went on to say that "the {strong democratic regimes} are centers of fundamental cooperation, based on the principle of equality, cooperation and solidarity". It is worth noting that these statements were made at the meeting in the 'stronghold of democracy', hosted by US President Joe Biden outside UN auspices, and where the participants were selected by the US administration based on how loyal they were, not so much to Washington, as to the ruling Democratic Party. The attempt to use such gatherings of friends to discuss global issues stands in stark contrast to paragraph 4 of article 1 of the UN Charter, which states that the purpose of the UN is "to be a center for the harmonization of the work of nations to achieve these common goals".

Contrary to this principle, France and Germany announced that they would establish an alliance for multilateralism and invited the obedient countries to participate'. This confirms the initiators' colonial attitude and their relationship to the effective multilateralism that we are discussing today. At the same time, they promote the narrative of the EU as the ideal example of 'multilateralism'.

Today, Brussels is working for the enlargement of the EU as quickly as possible, especially in the Balkans. However, they focus neither on Serbia nor Turkey, which for a number of years have arranged meaningless application talks, but on Ukraine. Josep Borrel, who has assumed the role of an ideologue for European integration, has recently gone so far as to call for progress in the process of incorporating the Kiev regime into the EU. According to him, Ukraine's incorporation without the war would have taken several years, but now the country can, and should, be admitted without conditions. Serbia and Turkey must therefore wait, but a Nazi regime can become a member without further ado.

"Democracy springs from the UN Charter."

The UN Secretary-General said at this "summit for democracy" that "democracy springs from the UN Charter. Its opening phrase 'we, humanity' reflects the fundamental source of legitimate authority: the adherence of the governed". I would like to compare this thesis with what the regime in Kiev has done, going to war against large parts of its own population: The millions who did not give their approval to be ruled by the neo-Nazis and Russophobes – these latter who usurped power in the country and buried the Minsk Agreement, which was approved by the UN Security Council, thus destroying Ukraine's territorial integrity.

Those who divide the world into 'democratic' and 'autocratic' societies, in direct violation of the UN Charter, should ask themselves which of these two types of society Kiev belongs to. However, I do not expect an answer.

When it comes to the principles of the UN Charter, we should look at the relationship between the UN Security Council and the General Assembly. The West's 'group' has aggressively supported the idea of ​​'abuse of the veto' for a long time, and has assured – putting pressure on other UN member states – to adopt a provision to convene a General Assembly meeting whenever the veto is used [in the Security Council ], although it is the West that provokes this more and more often.

However, we do not see this as a problem. Russia's position on all issues on the agenda is available to anyone who wants to see. We have nothing to hide, and it is not difficult for us to present our positions again. In addition, the veto is a legitimate instrument enshrined in the UN Charter to prevent decisions that could split the organization. But since the procedure of debating every veto at a General Assembly meeting has now been adopted, perhaps we can also discuss those Security Council resolutions that have already been adopted, (including those adopted many years ago) but have never been implemented – contrary to the provisions of Article 25 of the UN Charter? Why can't the General Assembly discuss the reason for this, for example with reference to the Security Council resolutions on Palestine and the whole range of matters related to the Middle East and North Africa, JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), or Security Council Resolution 2202, which adopted the Minsk Agreement on Ukraine?

The question of sanctions should also be given attention. It has become practice that after that Security Council have approved sanctions against a particular country after long discussions and in accordance with the UN Charter, the US and its allies have imposed their own additional sanctions against the same country, but now without the approval of the Security Council. Or they have included these sanctions in a Council resolution within the framework of a coordinated package. A regrettable illustration is the recent decision by Germany, France and the UK to use their national laws to extend restrictions on Iran, which would have otherwise ended in October under Security Council Resolution 2231. In other words, European countries have announced that they do not care about that the Security Council's decision has expired, since they have their own 'rules'.

This is why it is so important to consider a decision which means that no one has the right to devalue Security Council resolutions on sanctions by including their own illegitimate restrictions against the same country.

Furthermore, all sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council should have a expiration date. This is because the lack of a deadline undermines the Council's flexibility in terms of the ability to influence the policies of sanctioned governments.

It is also necessary to consider "the humanitarian limitations resulting from sanctions". It would make sense if the draft of the sanctions proposals to the Security Council had included the assessment of their possible humanitarian consequences. This should be prepared by the UN Human Rights Committee, rather than with empty rhetoric stating that "ordinary people will not suffer".

Colleagues, the facts show us that there is a deep crisis in international relations, and that Western countries have neither the desire nor the will to overcome this crisis. I hope that there is a way out of this and that we can find this way. But first we should all recognize that we have a responsibility for the organization and the future of the world in a historical context, and not based on short-term populist electoral considerations in the individual member country.

An equal and multicentric world order is a guarantee for stable and safe development.

I would like to repeat that when world leaders signed the UN Charter 80 years ago, they agreed to respect the sovereign equality of all countries, be they big or small, rich or poor, kingdoms or republics. In other words, they recognized the importance of an egalitarian and polycentric world order as a guarantee of stable and secure development.

Therefore, today it is not about giving consent to a 'rules-based world
order', but about fulfilling the obligations we all assumed when we signed and ratified the UN Charter, in its full extent.


Translated from the English by John Y. Jones.

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