Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Russia is perpetrating this war of aggression with weapons sourced from Iran – UK statement at the Security Council [December 2022]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 9 December 2022.

Statement delivered by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council briefing on Ukraine.

Thank you President and I thank the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs for her briefing.

President, I will be brief because we discussed Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine just three days ago.

During that meeting, we heard Under-Secretary-General Griffiths’ harrowing account of the horrific consequences of Russia’s war and his deep concerns about the impacts of systematic attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and civilian centres, particularly ahead of winter. We have just seen further OHCHR reporting on potential atrocities against civilians committed by Russia.

The irony, given the topic of this meeting, is that Russia is perpetrating this war with weapons sourced from Iran in violation of resolution 2231, and is almost certainly seeking to source weaponry from other UN sanctioned states like North Korea as its own stocks dwindle.

We note that despite the resounding calls in this Council again on Tuesday for a ceasefire, and for peace, meaningful dialogue and diplomacy, the Russian President on Wednesday doubled-down, confirming that the invasion would continue and that it would be protracted. He also reaffirmed the neo-imperialist nature of the campaign, claiming that unlike Peter the Great, he had made the Sea of Azov a Russian internal sea.

President, in the face of Russia’s relentless effort to seize Ukraine’s territory in breach of the UN Charter, and to dehumanise, kill and subjugate its people, Ukraine has no choice but to exercise its right to defend itself. If it does not, it would cease to exist. In a similar situation, all of us would do the same. And due to the deep determination to live, Ukraine is prevailing.

The UK is proud of the support it is providing to the Ukrainian people in the face of this aggression, be it defensive, humanitarian or assistance to rebuild critical infrastructure destroyed by Russian attacks.

President, Russia can end this suffering immediately by ceasing attacks against Ukraine, including critical national infrastructure and innocent civilians, and withdrawing all of its forces illegally present in Ukraine.

We welcome and support Ukraine’s initiative for a just and sustainable peace. We again join the international community in calling on Russia to similarly commit to meaningful dialogue and negotiations based on upholding Ukraine’s rights under international law and the UN Charter.

Thank you President.