Remarks by Ambassador Robert Wood, Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs, at a UN Security Council Briefing on Threats to International Peace and Security

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June 14, 2024

Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, High Representative Nakamitsu, for your briefing.

Mr. President, it is therefore no surprise Russia called today’s meeting the day before dozens of countries travel to Switzerland for the Summit on Peace. Today’s meeting is a transparent attempt to distract the world and blame anyone but itself for what is happening in Ukraine. Russia is fooling no one.

Russia again peddles the absurd proposition that it is not its own relentless attacks against another UN Member State, its people, and its cities, that are prolonging this war. Russia asks us to believe that it is Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself that are the real obstacles to peace.

After over two years since the start of its full-scale invasion, there are now more countries sitting around this table than have stood besides Russia in its illegal war of aggression. In contrast, over 140 countries have repeatedly called on Russia to end its war against Ukraine and fully withdraw from Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory.

It is no surprise that Russia has sought to strengthen ties with the few countries willing to support its blatant disregard of international law and the UN Charter.

The DPRK has unlawfully transferred dozens of ballistic missiles and over 11,000 containers of munitions to aid Russia’s war against Ukraine, prolonging the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

The transfer by the DPRK, and procurement by Russia, of these ballistic missiles and other arms and related materiel are clear violations of Security Council resolutions.

On May 29, the United States published analytical material showing a visual comparison of images from DPRK state media and images of missile debris from Kharkiv, confirming Russia used DPRK missiles against Ukraine.

Russia has deepened its military relationship with Iran, including through its acquisition of Iranian UAVs, which credible reporting suggests are being used to target Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure.

Reports indicate Russia also seeks to procure ballistic missiles from Iran. As we have said before, such an acquisition would represent a significant escalation in Iran’s support for Russia’s war of aggression.

And let me be clear: the People’s Republic of China is also playing a significant role in supporting Russia’s war effort.

The PRC is providing Russia with substantial quantities of machine tools, microelectronics, optics, as well as UAV and cruise missile technology. These materials are filling critical gaps in Russia’s defense production cycle.

Since 2023, Russia has rapidly expanded its capacity to make key munitions, including artillery rounds, in large part due to PRC companies’ provision of nitrocellulose.

In the last quarter of 2023 alone, more than 70 percent of Russia’s nearly $900 million in machine tool imports came from China. Russia has likely used these machine tools to help increase ballistic missile production.

The PRC has also been providing Russia with UAV engines and turbojet engines for cruise missiles. And, of even more concern, PRC and Russian entities have been working to jointly produce UAVs inside Russia.

We urge all countries to cease military cooperation with Russia, which supports its war of aggression against Ukraine.

Mr. President, the United States remains committed to providing Ukraine what it needs to defend itself in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter.

The international community’s participation in the upcoming Summit on Peace in Ukraine – hosted by Switzerland – will be crucial in supporting our shared objective: the maintenance of international peace and security.

We call on all countries to support Ukraine’s pursuit of a just and lasting peace, consistent with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.

The United States will stand by Ukraine as it seeks a just and lasting peace, consistent with the UN Charter. We will continue to call for justice for the victims of this war of aggression, and to work for accountability for those responsible.

Thank you, Mr. President.


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