Threats to international peace and security : Statement by H. E. Valentin Rybakov, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Belarus, at the United Nations Security Council

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October 31, 2022


For many years now, Western states have been waging a real large-scale war against the Republic of Belarus in politics, economics and media. In violation of the UN Charter, international law, economic terrorism is used – numerous sanctions have been imposed with the aim of economic strangulation of my country and its people. The provisions of the Budapest Memorandum, which individual delegations so often like to refer to in this chamber, are also grossly violated. I would like to remind that according to the Budapest Memorandum Belarus voluntarily renounced the possession of the most modern nuclear weapons at that time and in the end received nothing in return.

The holding of today’s meeting is another manifestation of this war.

The very establishment of an ICAO fact-finding investigation team on the event involving a Ryanair aircraft in Belarusian airspace on 23 May 2021 is contrary to the mandate of the Organization and sets a dangerous precedent in manipulating the fundamentals of civil aviation security.

The mentioned report, hastily written under pressure from certain Western states, is non-consensual and biased, which, by the way, was also noted by the participants of the recently held 41st session of the ICAO Assembly.

The position of the Republic of Belarus on the report was circulated by the UN Secretariat, as already mentioned here in this chamber today, as an official document of the General Assembly under agenda item 88 “Strengthening and promoting the international treaty regime” on 27 July 2022 under the document symbol A/76/909.

Belarus will never agree with the conclusions of the report, which is based on incomplete information in the absence of the necessary international cooperation, which, by the way, is stated in the report itself. We have not received answers to key questions addressed to other involved countries in order to conduct an objective and comprehensive investigation. No additional information was requested from the Belarusian side at all.

The report is replete with errors, inaccuracies, non-aviation and biased approaches.

The use in the report of information from an anonymous source in the absence of proper technical expertise is unacceptable. In turn, the written testimony of this air traffic controller, duly submitted by the Belarusian side to ICAO, was not taken into account.

The Belarusian side stated that the content of an alleged audio recording which was allegedly made by an air traffic controller and which was provided by the US authorities, which is very convenient, to the investigation team, is a fraud and a fake.

And now the most important thing. The investigation team itself recognizes that in the airspace of Belarus there was neither escort, nor interception, nor forced landing of a Ryanair aircraft by any military aircraft, which indicates that the commander of a foreign aircraft personally and independently made the decision to land at the airport in Minsk.

All these indisputable facts, by the way, recognized by the investigation team, did not in the least prevent the Western states from immediately accusing Belarus of forced landing of the plane.

The words “air terrorism” were mentioned here today…

Almost immediately, sanctions were imposed not only against the Belarusian national air carrier, Belavia, but also against their own national carriers, who were banned from using the Belarusian airspace. I want to remind you here, ladies and gentlemen, that Belavia, the Belarusian national airline, was almost the only airline that transported and rescued citizens of your countries, at your request, during a pandemic and total lockdowns, for which it then received numerous thanks from the citizens and representatives of your states.

Another blatant, just utterly blatant fact. Members of the Belarusian delegation were ready for a substantive discussion of all these issues at the 41st session of the ICAO Assembly, but Canada did not issue them visas. They were forced to participate in the Assembly online. It is quite obvious that the organizers of this “show” simply did not want to receive uncomfortable answers to their possible questions. But even in this format, participating online, the Belarusian side submitted working documents on aviation security for consideration by the session, but they were blocked by Western countries. This only confirms the desire of the West to force an international organization, in this case ICAO, to function in their political interests, even at the expense of flight safety.

Colleagues, the name of Protasevich was repeatedly mentioned here, because of which this incident, as a matter of fact, allegedly happened. Specially for our meeting today, Mr. Protasevich prepared a video message to you. The link to the video file of this message is posted on Twitter of our Permanent Mission. You can listen to everything that Mr. Protasevich tells you all.

Don’t be put off by the fact that Mr. Protasevich says in this video that he is still under house arrest. The fact is that this was a court decision, and in the Republic of Belarus, unlike some other states, we still have the rule of law.

And let me say a few words about the numerous accusations that have been made in this chamber today against Belarus of violating human rights. Some of these accusations were, well, quite exotic.

Let us say a few words about human rights.

In this regard, I would like to remind you all of the illegal sanctions imposed against, among other things, Belarusian potash fertilizers.

Potash fertilizers, of course, should not be eaten, but, as you all know, they are a guarantee of future harvests.

The shortage of these goods in the world markets (and the Republic of Belarus, according to some statistical estimates, accounts for up to a third of the world production of potash fertilizers – up to one third!), the shortage of these products will lead to the death of tens of millions of people from starvation.

I would like to address those who develop and implement these sanctions. You deprive people of the fundamental right – the right to life, but after that you have the audacity to teach us how to respect human rights as you understand them, of course.

Sooner or later, you will simply be swept away either by your own peoples or by millions of those who will come to you from the countries that you are destroying today. And these people will come to you not for mythical human rights, in your understanding, but for a piece of bread to feed their families and their children.

And you, I think, will go down in history, not as politicians, but as criminals and mass murderers.

Thank you for your attention.


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