Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Russia’s sourcing of weapons from sanctioned states poses a serious risk to international peace and security – UK statement at the UN Security Council [October 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 27 October 2023.

UK Political Coordinator Fergus Eckersley at the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine.

Thank you, President.

Colleagues, Russia wishes to address weapons proliferation. In a happy coincidence, the UK would also like to address weapons proliferation. But that may be the only thing we agree on today.

Russia has spent the last two decades flouting its obligations in arms control and disarmament. Its systematic efforts to undermine this architecture has only accelerated since its invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s withdrawal from the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty is yet another step in this direction.  Along with its announcement that it will withdraw ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

This follows rejection of the Vienna Document modification, withdrawal from Open Skies, violation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and suspension of its participation in New Start.

Let us turn to the situation in Ukraine. Russia’s sourcing of weapons from heavily sanctioned states such as North Korea and Iran violate UN Security Council resolutions, undermines Security Council credibility, and pose a serious risk to international peace and security.

The Russian delegation held up Western weapons fragments today as if that was a big reveal.  It isn’t. We are open about the support we provide. Russia on the other hand, still deny that they receive weapons from Iran and North Korea because they know that it is illegal.

Russia has destroyed schools, hospitals, grain silos and energy facilities. It has deployed hypersonic missiles, one-way attack drones and a cruise missile with a range of over 2,000km. Its use of conventional anti-personnel mines and improvised booby traps, including in children’s toys.

The UK and others’ provision of weapons to Ukraine is in support of Ukraine’s defence of its sovereign territory against Russia’s illegal invasion.

The weapons the international community are providing to Ukraine are not what is prolonging this war.

The only obstacle to peace here is Russia.

Thank you.