New York, 8 December 2021 (TDI): The Russian Deputy Permanent Representative, Gennady Kuzmin, gave a speech at the UNSC meeting, on 7 December. Kuzmin first thanked the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, for his briefing during the meeting.

STATEMENTS OF KUZMIN DURING THE MEETING

Russian Deputy Kuzmin then mentioned Russia’s contribution to the promotion of the international refugee protection regime. He also remarked on the contribution of Russia to solving migration-related problems. According to Kuzmin, Russia provides humanitarian aid in many countries, and the efforts they are taking to prevent; and overcome crises.

Kuzmin also stated that Russia considers it a high priority to boost their cooperation with the UNHCR. He then added that the UNHCR is an international mechanism that addresses the problems regarding forced migration.

Kuzmin mentioned that Russia welcomed the results of High Commissioner Grandi’s visit to Moscow in June. He stated that in the visit both exchanged opinions that reiterated their mutual interest, to strengthen the cooperation between both.

According to Kuzmin, Russia understands that to settle the humanitarian crises, it is necessary to engage in mechanisms of multilateral cooperation.

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Those mechanisms are under the central coordinating role of the UN. He then added that Russia assesses positively the role of the UNHCR, as they enhance the efficiency of international protection of refugees.

UNHCR EFFORTS TOWARDS COVID AND SETTLEMENT ON FORCED MIGRATION CAUSES

Kuzmin also acknowledged the role of the UNHCR and their efforts to respond to COVID-19 spread. He also mentioned that Russia provides financial means for the activity of the Refugee Agency. Russian Deputy Kuzmin then said that the most effective way to address the problem of forced migration is to eradicate the root causes.

According to Kuzmin, it is possible to eradicate the root causes through a political settlement in migrants’ countries of origin. Other actions could be to provide support for their socio-economic development, state-building process, and also the fight against terrorism.

Kuzmin also called to exclude external interference in domestic affairs. He mentioned that Russia believes that states that actively engaged in external interference have the responsibility for the consequences of migrants and refugees’ massive outflow.

AFGHANISTAN SITUATION 

The Representative also expressed Russia’s concern for the situation in Afghanistan. According to Kuzmin, the UNHCR reported that due to the scarce availability of critical services; the potential for forced migration in Afghanistan increased dramatically. Kuzmin mentioned that the socio-economic situation has been exacerbated and that it creates risks of a massive outflow of Afghanistan.

Kuzmin remarked that Russia believes that the countries that were present in Afghanistan for the last 20 years are responsible for the situation.

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According to him, those countries must provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to recover the country, and prevent forced migration.

ACTIONS FOR SYRIAN SETTLEMENT 

The Council also discussed the situation of the Syrian settlement. Kuzmin considered that the task of facilitating voluntary return is extremely important. He then added that they draw again attention to their initiative regarding the repatriation of Syrian Refugees. Kuzmin also mentioned that Russia believes to be important the creation of favorable conditions for the return of refugees.

According to Kuzmin, this step is important on the way to lasting stabilization in Syria. Kuzmin remarked on another Russian belief because they believe that once they return to their homes, they will contribute to recovering their country. He then called on the UNHCR to increase their efforts to encourage the global community to promote the repatriation of Syrians.

ACTIONS FOR THE NAGORNO-KARABAKH SETTLEMENT

Kuzmin then mentioned that Russia would welcome a more active engagement of the UNHCR to return refugees to Nagorno-Karabakh. According to Kuzmin, the return of the refugees was stipulated in the Tripartite statement of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.

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He also mentioned that the three countries signed the Tripartite statement in 2020, on a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities.

Kuzmin remarked that to do so the UNHCR could focus its efforts on the humanitarian nature. Finally, Kuzmin called on the UNHCR to set forth dialogue with Baku and Yerevan to gain humanitarian access.