Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on Mali

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August 28, 2023


We thank SRSG Wane and Ms.Beatrice Abouya for the briefings.

We studied carefully a letter by the Secretary-General regarding modalities of withdrawal of the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

We thank the UN Secretariat and MINUSMA personnel for the efforts they make to ensure implementation of UNSC decisions in close coordination with the leadership of Mali. We note that the withdrawal plan that is contained in the letter complies with the general framework of UNSC resolution 2690, which we supported being guided by the fact that it accounted for the main concerns of the Malian side.

We stress the need to strictly observe the deadline for withdrawal of UN forces. According to the resolution, this will have to conclude by 31 December 2023. Subsequent liquidation of MINUSMA’s infrastructure should be just as orderly and terminate within 18 months after the withdrawal. We look forward to Secretary-General’s proposals on how to optimize spending on MINUSMA until eventual withdrawal of the Mission.

We understand that MINUSMA is withdrawing in complex circumstances that are caused among other things by activities of terrorist groups. We condemn attacks on peacekeepers that happened during that time and wish speedy recovery to the injured Burkinese military staff.

This being said, we note that the first phase of implementing resolution 2690 has passed without major incidents. We hope that the second phase which is about to start on 1 September and provide for a more massive movement of Blue Helmets to Gao and Bamako will be just as systematic and well-organized.

We call on all Malian sides to keep from armed provocations and hostile rhetoric during this crucial stage for Mali. We remind that MINUSMA is authorized to transfer its infrastructure only to official authorities of the host country.

As far as modalities of transferring MINUSMA powers to UN mechanisms in the context of the Algiers Agreement, for example to the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, we assume that when deciding on this, one should have the consent of the Malians in the first place.


We continue to see that Malian-Russian bilateral cooperation that is carried out at the request of Bamako and in strict compliance with applicable norms of international law, as well as Mali’s sovereign choice of international partners in security area keeps some of our former Western partners awake at night. They suffer from obvious relapses into neo-colonial approaches and are not ready to turn away from double standards.

Of course, those countries themselves could also effectively assist the Malian authorities rather than try to discredit their efforts in the area of security and counter-terrorism. Unfortunately, those countries do not know how to cooperate with the Global South on an equal and respectful basis. Therefore their colonial phantom pains are not worth paying attention to.

Russia, for its part, will continue to provide Mali and other interested African partners with comprehensive bilateral assistance on an equal and mutually respectful basis.

Thank you.



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