Russia’s deputy envoy to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said Thursday that EU-Russian relations were “at the lowest level in history” at the UN meeting on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
Polinski strongly disagreed with what EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said about the EU’s commitment to “rules-based multilateralism”. Polinski said the EU often chooses a “disastrous one-sided approach over careful and patient collective work in the search of compromise and constructive solutions”.
Polinsky advised against anyone interfering with or taking action against Belarus, Russia’s close ally.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Estonia, which chaired the Security Council this month, organized a meeting to focus on cooperation between the United Nations and the 27-nation European Union.
The council meeting took place just ahead of this weekend’s summit of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations – which were kicked out of Russia in 2014 – and next week’s first meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which relations between Washington and Moscow has reached a post-Cold War low.
Borrell told the council in a virtual address that the COVID-19 pandemic “underlined the fragility of our hyper-globalized and interdependent world.”
“The demand for multilateral solutions is much greater than the supply,” he said, “pointing to more division, more free-riding and more mistrust than the world has ever seen.”
“We need global cooperation based on agreed rules because the alternative is the law of the jungle, where problems are not solved,” he said. “Every day we see the costs of the absence of multilateral action in low access to vaccines and inadequate climate action, and a peace and security crisis.”
Borrell blamed “an increase in power politics and ideological competitions” that eroded trust, the EU’s commitment to the United Nations, and an emphasis on “rules-based multilateralism”. There should be pushback against the “selective and selfish approach to multilateralism”, he said.
“True multilateralism emphasizes continued support for the central role of the United Nations,” Polanski said. Promoting questionable concepts like “rules-based order” or applying the bloc approach and attempting to project one’s own experience and achievements as a gold standard that other countries should implement back at home – all of this is not the same as multilateralism and often leads to open interference in the affairs of other states.”
Borrell sharply criticized the “large-scale repression of peaceful protesters” in Belarus following last August’s presidential elections, which were widely seen as rigged, and the recent “major attack on air security”, when A civilian plane was diverted to its capital and a prominent journalist. And his girlfriend was taken down and arrested.
The EU’s chief diplomat said the bloc had closed its airspace to Belarus Airlines and was in the process of adopting a new package of economic sanctions.
Borrell also indicated sharp differences with Moscow over Syria, where its close ally Russia holds the key to continued cross-border deliveries of humanitarian aid to millions of needy, and in Ukraine, where Borrell called Russia “a party to the conflict.” ” said. East and urged Moscow to “take a constructive stance” to implement the Minsk peace plan.
Elsewhere, Poliansky questioned the EU’s naval campaign in the Mediterranean to enforce a UN arms embargo on Libya, urging “very careful treading in the region.” He added that Russia also believes the EU can “do better as a mediator” between Kosovo and Serbia, which has close ties with Moscow. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a decade after a brutal war between separatist ethnic Albanian rebels and Serb forces.
Polyansyky warned the EU “more strongly against promoting its own perspectives on gender, human rights, climate and other topics in UN documents as “allegedly universal and consensus-based”. and intends to fight unconvinced”.
US Political Coordinator Rodney Hunter reaffirmed the US-EU partnership, saying it is based on shared values and the pursuit of trans-Atlantic prosperity and security. They also “unequivocally” reaffirmed the role of the European Union as “an important partner for the United Nations”, particularly in the Security Council’s efforts to maintain peace and security in the world.
At the same time, Hunter was sharply critical of Russia, saying its actions in Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea, remain a “threat to European security”. He emphasized the “unwavering” support of the US and EU for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia, where Russian forces occupy the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.
“We, along with our allies and partners, will continue to call on Russia to immediately cease its advanced military, economic, diplomatic and propaganda efforts to destabilize Ukraine and Georgia,” Hunter said.
Polinski concluded his remarks by saying that he does not want everyone to think that “Russia has a negative attitude towards the EU.” This is not the case, he said, pointing to the role of the EU in coordinating meetings of the parties to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the six major powers, which “we attach the utmost importance to.”
Borrell said the EU is working and making progress on bringing the United States back into the nuclear deal, lifting sanctions against Iran and returning to the limits of the deal on Iran’s nuclear activities.
“Negotiations are fast and slow on many issues, including the precise sequencing of phases,” he said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Polinski said there are other areas beyond the Iran nuclear deal where Russia and the European Union cooperate successfully.
“Most importantly, the EU must understand that there is no place for hegemony and dominance in the modern world,” he said.