In International Law, Russia, Ukraine, United Nations Charter
Lavrov's Devastating UNSC Presentation

Sergey Lavrov at the UN. Photo Credit: UN/Cia Pak

By Karl Sanchez. Originally published on Substack, September 20, 2023.

My buddy at Moon of Alabama psychohistorian posted this short bit:

“Reuters has a posting title up showing us what UN projection really looks like

‘Stop the war’ and Zelenskiy need not speak, UN Security Council chair tells Russia”

That set up my reply and the intro to this magnificent piece of diplomacy by perhaps the best diplomat on the planet Sergie Lavrov:

Albania is the current chair-holding nation. Lavrov turned the tables on him. Imagine a scoring thrust while fencing:

“All the facts of the ‘engineering’ of the Ukrainian crisis have long been known, but they are trying in every possible way to silence, to ‘cancel’ the entire history until 2014.

Therefore, the topic of today’s meeting, proposed by the Albanian presidency, is very opportune and allows us to restore the chronological chain of events, and it is in the context of the attitude of the main actors to the implementation of the principles and goals of the UN Charter.” [Sanchez’s Emphasis]

Lavrov then proceeded to recap the whole sordid affair from the first coup in 2004-5 to the present as a well-seasoned Prosecuting Attorney would do. IMO, it’s devastating.

And indeed it was a swatting away of the lies told by Blinken then Biden at the UNGA. What he provided to the UNSC was a total repudiation of every lie the West has told and recapped many of the West’s wanton crimes against the UN Charter. But it will be up to individual readers to see/read for themselves and decide if Lavrov indeed delivered a fatal blow to the West in the eyes of the Global Globe:

Lavrov’s Speech

Mr. Chairman,

Mr. Secretary General,


The existing international order was built on ruins and following the colossal tragedy of World War II. It was based on the UN Charter, a key source of modern international law. Largely thanks to the UN, it was possible to prevent a new world war, fraught with a nuclear catastrophe.

Unfortunately, after the end of the Cold War, the “collective West”, led by the United States, arbitrarily arrogated to itself the rank of arbiter of the destinies of all mankind and, overwhelmed by an exclusivity complex, began to ignore the legacy of the founding fathers of the UN more and more widely.

Today, the West refers to the statutory norms and principles selectively, from time to time, exclusively in accordance with its selfish geopolitical needs. This inevitably leads to the undermining of global stability, the exacerbation of existing and the incitement of new hotbeds of tension. The risks of global conflict are also growing. It is precisely in order to stop them, to direct events in a peaceful direction, that Russia insisted and insists that all provisions of the UN Charter be respected and applied not selectively, but in their entirety and interconnection, including the principles of sovereign equality of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, respect for territorial integrity and the right of peoples to self-determination. The actions of the United States and its allies indicate a systematic imbalance of the requirements enshrined in the Charter.

Since the collapse of the USSR and the formation of independent states in its place, the United States and its allies have grossly and openly interfered in the internal affairs of Ukraine. As US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland publicly and even proudly admitted at the end of 2013, Washington spent $5 billion on nurturing politicians obedient to the West in Kiev.

All the facts of the “engineering” of the Ukrainian crisis have long been known, but they are trying in every possible way to silence, to “cancel” the entire history until 2014. Therefore, the topic of today’s meeting, proposed by the Albanian presidency, is very opportune and allows us to restore the chronological chain of events, and it is in the context of the attitude of the main actors to the implementation of the principles and goals of the UN Charter.

In 2004-2005, the West, in order to bring a pro-American candidate to power, sanctioned the first coup d’état in Kiev, forcing the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to make an illegal decision to hold a third round of elections not provided for by the country’s Constitution. Even more unceremonious interference in internal affairs manifested itself during the second Maidan in 2013-2014, when a whole series of Western voyageurs directly encouraged participants in anti-government demonstrations to violent actions. The same V. Nuland discussed with the US ambassador in Kiev the composition of the future government, which will be formed by the putschists. At the same time, she pointed out to the European Union its real place in world politics from the point of view of Washington. We all remember her scabrous two-word phrase. It is significant that the European Union “swallowed” it.

In February 2014, the characters selected by the Americans became key participants in the bloody seizure of power, organized, I recall, a day after the agreement reached between the legitimately elected President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders under the guarantees of Germany, Poland and France. The principle of non-interference in internal affairs has been repeatedly trampled.

Immediately after the coup, the putschists declared that their absolute priority was to curtail the rights of Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine. And the inhabitants of Crimea and the south-east of the country, who refused to come to terms with the results of the unconstitutional seizure of power, were declared terrorists, launching a punitive operation against them. In response, Crimea and Donbass held referendums in full compliance with the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, enshrined in paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the UN Charter.

Western diplomats and politicians, in relation to Ukraine, turn a blind eye to this most important norm of international law in an effort to reduce the entire background and essence of what is happening to the inadmissibility of violating territorial integrity. In this regard, I would like to remind you that the 1970 UN Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the UN Charter, adopted unanimously, stipulates that the principle of respect for territorial integrity is applicable to “states that observe in their actions the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples (…) and, consequently, having governments representing (…) all the people living in the territory.” The fact that the Ukrainian neo-Nazis who seized power in Kiev did not represent the population of Crimea and Donbass does not require proof. And the unconditional support by Western capitals for the actions of the criminal Kiev regime is nothing more than a violation of the principle of self-determination following gross interference in internal affairs.

Following the coup d’état during the reign of Petr Poroshenko and then Vladimir Zelensky, the adoption of racist laws banning everything Russian – education, media, culture, the destruction of books and monuments, the ban on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the seizure of its property – was a defiant violation of paragraph 3 of Article 1 of the UN Charter on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all – without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion. Not to mention the fact that these actions directly contradicted the Constitution of Ukraine, which enshrines the obligation of the state to respect the rights of Russians and other national minorities.

When we hear calls to implement the “peace formula” and return Ukraine to the 1991 borders, the question arises: are those who call for this familiar with the statements of the Ukrainian leadership about what they are going to do with the inhabitants of the respective territories? Threats of legal or physical extermination are repeatedly addressed to them publicly, at the official level. The West not only does not restrain its protégés in Kiev, but also enthusiastically encourages their racist policies.

By the way, in a similar way, EU and NATO members have been encouraging the actions of Latvia and Estonia for decades to defeat the rights of hundreds of thousands of Russian-speaking residents who have been called “non-citizens”. Now they are seriously discussing the introduction of criminal liability for the use of the native language. High-ranking officials officially declare that the dissemination of information about the possibility of local students passing Russian distance school programs should be considered almost as a threat to national security and requires the attention of law enforcement agencies.

Returning to Ukraine. The conclusion of the Minsk agreements in February 2015 was approved by a special resolution of the Security Council – in full compliance with Article 36 of the Charter, which supports “any procedure for resolving a dispute that has been accepted by the parties.” In this case, Kiev, the DPR and LPR. However, last year, all the signatories of the Minsk Agreements, except Vladimir Putin (Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Petr Poroshenko), publicly and even gladly admitted that when they signed this document, they had no intention of fulfilling it. They only sought to gain time to strengthen Ukraine’s military potential and pump it up with weapons against Russia. All these years, the EU and NATO have directly supported the sabotage of the Minsk agreements, pushing the Kiev regime to resolve the “Donbass problem” by force. This was done in violation of Article 25 of the Charter, according to which all UN members are obliged to “obey the decisions of the Security Council and carry them out.”

Let me remind you that in the package with the Minsk agreements, the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine signed a declaration in which Berlin and Paris pledged to do a lot, including helping to restore the banking system in Donbass. But they didn’t lift a finger. We just watched how, contrary to all these obligations, Pavel Poroshenko announced a trade, economic and transport blockade of Donbass. In the same declaration, Berlin and Paris pledged to promote the strengthening of trilateral cooperation in the EU-Russia-Ukraine format for a practical solution to Russia’s trade concerns, as well as to promote “the creation of a common humanitarian and economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.” This declaration was also approved by the Security Council and was subject to implementation in accordance with the aforementioned Article 25 of the UN Charter. But this commitment of the leaders of Germany and France turned out to be a “dummy”, another violation of the statutory principles.

The legendary Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR A.A. Gromyko has rightly noted more than once: “ten years of negotiations are better than one day of war.” Following this precept, we have been negotiating for many years, seeking agreements in the field of European security, approved the NATO-Russia Founding Act, adopted OSCE declarations on the indivisibility of security at the highest level in 1999 and 2010, and since 2015 have insisted on the unconditional implementation of the Minsk agreements resulting from the negotiations. Everything is in full compliance with the UN Charter, which requires “to provide conditions for justice and respect for obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law.” Our Western colleagues trampled on this principle when they signed all these documents, knowing in advance that they would not comply with them.

Speaking of negotiations. We are still not abandoning them. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has spoken about this many times, including quite recently. I would like to remind the distinguished Secretary of State that President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree prohibiting negotiations with the government of Vladimir Putin. If the United States is so interested in them, I think it will not be difficult to “give the command” that Vladimir Zelensky’s executive order be canceled.

Today, in the rhetoric of our opponents, we hear only slogans: “invasion, aggression, annexation.” Not a word about the root causes of the problem, about how for many years they nurtured the openly Nazi regime, openly rewriting the results of World War II and the history of their own people. The West avoids a substantive conversation based on facts and respect for all the requirements of the UN Charter. Apparently, he has no arguments for an honest dialogue.

There is a strong impression that Western representatives are afraid of professional discussions that expose their demagoguery. Uttering incantations about the territorial integrity of Ukraine, the former colonial metropolises are silent about the UN decisions on the need for Paris to return the “French” Mayotte to the Union of the Comoros, and for London to leave the Chagos archipelago and begin negotiations with Buenos Aires on the Malvinas Islands. These “champions” of the territorial integrity of Ukraine now pretend that they do not remember the meaning of the Minsk agreements, which consisted in the reunification of Donbass with Ukraine with guarantees of respect for fundamental human rights, primarily the right to their native language. The West, which thwarted their implementation, is directly responsible for the collapse of Ukraine and the incitement of civil war there.

Among other principles of the UN Charter, respect for which could prevent a security crisis in Europe and help harmonize confidence-building measures based on a balance of interests, I would like to note Article 2 of Chapter VIII of the Charter. It enshrines the need to develop the practice of peaceful settlement of disputes with the help of regional organizations.

In accordance with this principle, Russia, together with its allies, has consistently advocated the establishment of contacts between the CSTO and NATO in order to facilitate the practical implementation of the above-mentioned decisions of the OSCE summits of 1999 and 2010 on the indivisibility of security, which stipulate, in particular, that “no state, group of states, or organization can be given primary responsibility for maintaining peace and stability in the OSCE area or consider any part of this region as its sphere of influence.” Everyone knows that this is exactly what NATO was doing – trying to create its full advantage in Europe, and now in the Asia-Pacific region. However, numerous appeals of the highest bodies of the CSTO to the North Atlantic Alliance were ignored. The reason for such an arrogant position of the United States and its allies, as everyone can see today, is the unwillingness to conduct any equal dialogue with anyone. If NATO had not rejected the CSTO’s proposals for cooperation, then perhaps this would have avoided many of the negative processes that led to the current European crisis due to the fact that Russia has been refused to listen to or deceived for decades.

Today, when we are discussing “effective multilateralism” at the suggestion of the presidency, we should not forget about the numerous facts of the West’s genetic rejection of any form of equal cooperation. What is the pearl of Josep Borrell that Europe is “a blooming garden surrounded by jungle”. This is a purely neocolonial syndrome that despises the sovereign equality of states and the tasks of “strengthening the principles of the UN Charter through effective multilateralism” that are on display in our discussion today.

In an effort to prevent the democratization of interstate relations, the United States and its allies are increasingly openly and unceremoniously privatizing the secretariats of international organizations, bypassing the established procedures for decisions on the creation of subordinate mechanisms with non-consensus mandates, but with a claim to the right to blame those who, for some reason, are not pleasing to Washington.

In this regard, I would like to remind you of the need for strict implementation of the UN Charter not only by member states, but also by the Secretariat of our organization. Under Article 100 of the Charter, the Secretariat is required to act impartially and must not receive instructions from any Government.

We have already talked about Article 2 of the Charter. I wish to draw attention to its key point 1: “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of the States of all its Members”. Developing this principle, the UN General Assembly, in the Declaration of October 24, 1970 I mentioned, reaffirmed “the inalienable right of every state to choose its own political, economic, social and cultural system without interference from any side.” In this regard, we have serious questions about Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ statements of March 29 that “autocratic rule does not guarantee stability, it is a catalyst for chaos and conflict,” but “strong democratic societies are capable of self-correction and self-improvement. They can spur change, even radical change, without bloodshed or violence.” One involuntarily recalls the “changes” brought about by the aggressive adventures of the “strong democracies” in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and many other countries.

Further, the esteemed Antonio Guterres said: “They (democracies) are centers of broad cooperation rooted in the principles of equality, participation and solidarity.” It is noteworthy that all these speeches were delivered at the “summit for democracy” convened by President Joe Biden outside the UN, the participants of which were selected by the US administration on the basis of loyalty – and not so much to Washington as to the ruling Democratic Party in the United States. Attempts to use such get-togethers forums to discuss issues of a global nature directly contradict paragraph 4 of Article 1 of the UN Charter, which states the need to “ensure the role of the Organization as a center for coordinating actions in achieving common goals.”

Contrary to this principle, a few years ago, France and Germany proclaimed an “alliance of multilateralists”, to which they also invited only those who are obedient, which in itself reaffirms the inevitability of the colonial mentality and the attitude of the initiators to the principle of “effective multilateralism” on our agenda today. At the same time, a “narrative” about the European Union as the ideal of that very “multilateralism” was implanted. There are now calls from Brussels to expand the EU’s membership as soon as possible, including, in particular, the Balkan countries. But the main pathos is not about Serbia, not about Turkey, which has been conducting hopeless accession negotiations for decades, but about Ukraine. Claiming to be the ideologist of European integration, Josep Borrell recently did not hesitate to speak out in the sense that the Kiev regime should be admitted to the European Union as soon as possible. Say, if it were not for the war, it would have taken years, and so – it is possible and necessary without any criteria. Serbia, Turkey and others will wait. But the Nazis are accepted into the ranks of the EU out of turn.

By the way, at the same “summit for democracy”, the Secretary-General proclaimed: “Democracy stems from the UN Charter. The first words of the Charter – ‘We the peoples’ – reflect a fundamental source of legitimacy: the consent of those who are governed. It is useful to correlate this thesis with the “track record” of the Kiev regime, which unleashed a war against a huge part of its own people – against those millions of people who did not agree to control themselves to neo-Nazis and Russophobes who illegally seized power in the country and buried the Minsk agreements approved by the UN Security Council, thereby undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Those who, contrary to the UN Charter, divide humanity into “democracies” and “autocracies”, would do well to answer the question of what category do they attribute the Ukrainian regime to? I don’t expect an answer.

Speaking about the principles of the Charter, the question arises about the relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly. The “Western collective” has been aggressively and for a long time pedaling the topic of “abuse of the right of veto” and has achieved – through not quite correct pressure on other UN members – a decision to consider the relevant topic at the General Assembly after each application of this right, which the West is increasingly deliberately provoking. This is not a problem for us. Russia’s approaches to all issues on the agenda are open, we have nothing to hide and it is not difficult to state this position again. In addition, the use of the veto is an absolutely legitimate tool provided for in the Charter in order to prevent the adoption of decisions that would be fraught with a split in the Organization. But since the procedure for discussing the use of the veto at the General Assembly has been approved, why not think about the Security Council resolutions that were not vetoed, were adopted, including many years ago, but have not been implemented, despite the provisions of Article 25 of the Charter. Why doesn’t the General Assembly consider the reasons for this state of affairs – for example, with regard to the Security Council resolutions on Palestine and on the entire range of MENA problems, on the JCPOA, as well as Resolution 2202, which approved the Minsk agreements on Ukraine.

The problem associated with sanctions regimes also requires attention. It has already become the norm: the Security Council, after lengthy negotiations – in strict accordance with the Charter – approves sanctions against a specific country, and then the United States and its allies impose “additional” unilateral restrictions against the same state that have not been approved by the Security Council and are not included in its resolution as part of the agreed “package”. In the same series, another egregious example is the decision just taken by Berlin, Paris and London through their national legislation to “extend” the restrictions on Iran expiring in October, which are subject to legal termination in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2231. That is, European countries and the United Kingdom declare that the decision of the Security Council has expired, but they do not care about this, they have their own “rules”.

All this makes it all the more urgent to consider the issue that after the adoption by the Council of any sanctions resolution, none of the UN members would have the right to devalue it by imposing their own illegitimate restrictions against the same country.

It is also important that all Security Council sanctions regimes be limited in time, since their indefinite nature deprives the Council of flexibility in terms of influencing the policies of “sanctioned governments”.

The topic of “humanitarian limits of sanctions” also requires attention. It would be right for any sanctions to be submitted to the Security Council to be accompanied by assessments of their consequences for citizens through UN humanitarian agencies, rather than demagogic exhortations from our Western colleagues that “ordinary people will not suffer.”

Dear colleagues,

The facts speak of the deepest crisis in international relations and the lack of desire and will on the part of the West to overcome this crisis.

I hope that a way out of this situation still exists and will be found. To begin with, everyone needs to realize the responsibility for the fate of our Organization and the world – in a historical context, and not from the point of view of opportunistic electoral and momentary alignments in the next national elections of a member state.

Let me remind you once again: almost 80 years ago, by signing the UN Charter, world leaders agreed to respect the sovereign equality of all states – large and small, rich and poor, monarchies and republics. In other words, even then, humanity recognized the need for an equal, polycentric world order as a guarantee of the stability and security of its development.

Therefore, today it is not a question of submitting to some kind of “rules-based world order”, but of fulfilling by all the obligations assumed when signing and ratifying the Charter in their entirety and interconnection. [Sanchez’s Emphasis]

Lavrov’s testimony provides a different perspective on the UN’s formation for historians to look at the entire post-WW2 Era. The one critical point Lavrov fails to include is that the UN Charter was broken by its primary composer as soon as it came into force in October 1945 and has been continually broken daily by that same entity thus making it the world’s #1 Outlaw, not a world leader by any stretch of a moral person’s imagination.

Lavrov is all about dealing with realities, and that’s what he just imparted to those at the UNSC meeting. You readers are the jury. Is there any possibility of Western innocence in this case?


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