Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union

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March 12, 2024

Mr. President,

The topic of our meeting today – cooperation between the UN and the EU – cannot be viewed in isolation from the current state of the European Union. The European project commenced as an integrative economic union designed to help heal the wounds left by the Second World War and reconcile the peoples of Europe. But now it has completely changed its nature. Now we see the EU as an aggressive expansionist bloc that subordinates itself to the goals and objectives of the US and NATO and puts political interests above economic ones. Besides, the leaders of all-European mechanisms, who used to perform technical tasks, are now rushing into global politics and trying to impose their will on the member states. Thus, the EU stands out from the ranks of regional organizations with which the UN develops relations under Chapter VIII of the Charter.

To our great regret, the EU of today has inherited the worst colonial traditions and, even having parted with the United Kingdom, fiercely promotes neocolonial approaches, doing everything to protect the well-being of the proverbial “golden billion”, whatever that means for the rest of the world. Mr. Borrell who is present in this chamber today, expressed this vision of the European Union very clearly with his immortal metaphor that the EU is a beautiful blossoming garden where weed grass in the form of other countries wants to get to. It is hard to overlook analogy with the American concept of a “shining city upon a hill”, around which the notorious American exceptionalism is built.

Perhaps we would look at this from a distance, occasionally making a laugh about the pompousness and shortsightedness of our European neighbors, if their integration project had not been getting more anti-Russian and even Russophobic by the year. And this trend first emerged long before our special military operation in Ukraine, or even before the anti-constitutional coup d’état in Kiev in 2014, which was organized with the direct involvement of European countries. The starting point was the 2004 EU enlargement, when 10 newcomers from Eastern Europe joined the Union, many of whom were objectively unprepared for membership. It was then that the EU ceased to be a purely economic union and for the first time put politics above economics, which was a huge and fatal mistake.

Mr. President,

We had questions to many of those young EU members. Already at that time, an extremely worrying trend was gaining momentum in the Baltic States, where violations of the rights of the Russian-speaking population and cases of the glorification of Nazi criminals were noted. Elites in Poland and the Czech Republic were already showing their Russophobic nature. However, Brussels and the leading European capitals (with whom we conversed on the issue of enlargement) reassured us that those new member states were small countries, who were afraid of being one-to-one with Russia. But as soon as they joined the pan-European family, they would calm down and join constructive plans to build four Russia-EU common spaces. It is hard to imagine this today, but we used to have such joint projects with the EU and even adopted roadmaps for their implementation.

In the end, everything turned out in the exact opposite way. Having acceded to the EU, the Russophobic newcomers poisoned the entire Europe with their venom and actually usurped the EU’s policy towards Russia, turning it into a rivalry and a zero-sum game instead of cooperation. At the same time, the proverbial “European values”, which attracted many people to a united Europe, were radically devalued. The EU has become selectively deaf, and prepared to forsake (whenever politically expedient) the fundamental principles of human rights, freedom of speech and the media.

Today, for example, Latvia is about to expel about a thousand Russian-speaking seniors who have lived in the country for decades, because their level of proficiency in the Latvian language was deemed insufficient, whereas the Russian language is not welcome in the Baltic states. Foreign Ministry of Estonia recently published a report that during the liberation of Tallinn from Nazis 80 years ago the Red Army allegedly targeted residential areas and cultural facilities. Taking into account the fact that the bombing targeted headquarters of the Gestapo, the Abwehr, air defense facilities, a naval arsenal, gunpowder depots and communications centers, it is obvious that the current Estonian authorities firmly associate themselves with the Nazis.

The EU does not care about that. Moreover, the European Union unanimously votes against the annual resolution we submit to the United Nations General condemning the glorification of Nazism, and also stands at the forefront of any efforts to ban everything Russian, even if this requires rewriting history.


In recent years, the EU has become a symbol of blatant double standards, to which Mr. Borrell has contributed significantly. I can cite numerous examples. Say, his statements in February this year that banning Russian media is a “protection of freedom of speech”. At the same time, our retaliatory measures in the European Union were strongly criticized. Take another example. It was also in February when you, Mr. Borrell, said that in order to stop Israel’s war in Gaza, weapons supplies to that country must stop. That is a reasonable idea, and we do support it. But please note that in the Ukrainian context, Mr. Borrell insists on increasing military support for Ukraine, while recognizing that in its absence the conflict will end within a few weeks. In this context I cannot fail to note that EU takes money for weapons for Ukraine from the European Peace Fund. That’s in best Orwell’s traditions: “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is power”. These are the principles by which today’s European Union lives.

This being said, the European Union spares no effort to position itself as a peacemaker and mediator, and is trying to “dress up in this toga” even in relation to Ukraine. But does the EU want the conflict in that country to end? Let us address this question to the source, that is, to Mr. Borrell himself. In June 2023, after admitting that the conflict in Ukraine could be over in a matter of weeks if the West stopped providing military support to Ukraine, he said that the question was not whether to end this war, but how to end it. In other words, the EU (as a party that is fighting, albeit indirectly, in Ukraine), is working not to resolve the conflict, but to inflict maximum damage on Russia through it, and ideally to achieve Russia’s strategic defeat. The EU applies this anti-Russian “geopolitical optic” everywhere, not bothering that the price of hundreds of thousands of human lives is paid not only by Ukraine but other countries too. Same logic applies to Armenia, Kosovo, Moldova, and even Africa. That is why, Mr. President, Russia calls to use caution in matters of UN-EU interaction. The assistance that the EU offers is not free. It is invariably followed by political demands, the imposition of alien political and socio-economic scenarios. In the end, this always results in something either neo-colonial or anti-Russian, for the modern European Union knows no other ways to operate.


I will not talk now about the extremely strange economic maneuvers that the EU is undertaking in a fit of impotent anti-Russian anger. I will not talk about how it is shooting itself in the leg when it comes to energy issues, refusing affordable Russian energy and at the same time getting hooked on much more expensive imports from the United States, which has caused large-scale manufacturers to move out of the EU. Or about the flooding of European markets with cheap Ukrainian agricultural products, causing farmer protests in nearly all member states. Or about playing along with American arms makers and enterprises who use the Ukrainian crisis as an excuse to start dominating in European markets. After all, this is an internal EU affair, so let us leave it to the European voters. But essentially, what you do is “cut off nose to spite the face”.

Let me just say that the European Union is making a huge strategic mistake by carefully constructing an enemy image of Russia to please its narrow-minded but very vocal Russophobes. And this is despite the fact that Russia has not committed any aggressive actions against the European Union and has not developed or implemented any anti-European projects. However, Brussels is stubbornly trying to promote security formulas against Russia rather than with Russia. In this connection, I should like to remind our European neighbors that attempts to forge a united anti-Russian bloc have never ended well for Europe.

I would like to believe that there are still those in the European Union who remember these lessons of history and who will be able to look at the current situation in a broader context and take the necessary steps to return our relations to a constructive and pragmatic path. We have never given up on this task, so it’s your word now.

Thank you.

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