Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing Called by Russia on Threats to International Peace and Security

John Kelley
Political Minister Counselor
New York, New York
October 27, 2023


Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, Deputy Ebo, for your briefing today. Your continuing efforts to counter weapons diversion are critical.

It has been two weeks since the Russian Federation last called a meeting of this Council on this issue. Today’s meeting is yet another attempt to divert the Council’s attention from Russia’s continued blatant breaches of international peace and security in violation of the UN Charter as the Kremlin wages its brutal war of aggression against Ukraine.

Addressing security threats from the illicit proliferation of conventional arms is a longstanding U.S. international security priority.

But Russia has not called us here to engage in a serious discussion about illicit proliferation. Nor is Russia interested in a factual discussion about the dangerous and destabilizing consequences of its armed invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian delegation undermines the credibility of this Council when it calls repeated meetings to spread false and misleading accusations regarding the assistance from allies and partners in support of Ukraine’s legitimate self-defense within Ukraine’s own sovereign territory.

It is no surprise we have seen an increase in the number of meetings of this kind recently, as the Russian Federation expands its military partnership with the DPRK. This is clearly to serve as a distraction.

We condemn the DPRK for providing Russia with its military equipment, which Russia will use to further attack Ukraine’s cities and kill Ukraine’s civilians. And we remind Russia Security Council resolutions prohibit all Member States from procuring arms or related materiel from the DPRK.

Any revenue the DPRK receives from such transfers could be channeled by Pyongyang to further develop its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.

Colleagues, let’s make no mistake, it is Russia’s invasion of its sovereign neighbor and Russia’s procurement of weapons in violation of Security Council resolutions that present the real threat to international peace and security and the global nonproliferation regime.

Where Moscow’s actions undermine longstanding obligations under the Council’s resolutions, we will keep working domestically and with this Council to identify, expose, and counter Russia’s attempts to acquire arms in violation of this Council’s resolutions.

We call on Russia to recommit to the maintenance of peace and security and to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine’s sovereign territory aligned with its responsibilities as a permanent member of this Council.

And I thank you, Mr. President.