The Canadian mission to the United Nations (UN) summarily owned Vassily Nebenzia, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, through an editorial review of a diplomatic communication that left the envoy spouting claims of “Russophobic Libel.”
In a letter dated March 16, Nebenzia had reached out to his colleagues at the UN to express with urgency the “dire humanitarian” crisis in Ukraine and to state Russians were “gravely concerned about” the potential for further deterioration within the nation.
Behaving as though they were just another outspoken member of the international community, Nebenzia demanded that all UN members recognize their position on the Security Council and abide by obligations to protect civilians in Ukraine. As a teacher might, the Canadian mission took out their red pen and issued some constructive criticism for the Russians to reflect on before submitting their next draft.
Thank you @RussiaUN for your letter dated March 16.
Please see our suggested edits below. #StandWithUkraine #RespectTheCharter pic.twitter.com/0M663R0tUW
— Canada Mission UN #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 (@CanadaUN) March 17, 2022
With simple annotations that negate claims made by Nebenzia that change “we are gravely concerned” to “we are not gravely concerned about its deterioration because we are the primary cause,” the Canadians listed off the wrongdoings committed by Russia, both militarily and diplomatically.
Further suggestions included the addition of the abuse of veto power that “prevented the Security Council from discharging its responsibility to respond to the very was of aggression” that Russia had launched and a request for explanation on Russian forces bombing “densely-populated residential areas” that included medical facilities.
Dmitry Polyanskiy, a colleague of Nebenzia in representing Russia to the UN, unsurprisingly responded poorly to the criticism and used it as an opportunity to mock Canada’s attempts to become a more prominent player in the UN. He called the edits to Russia’s letter “kindergarten-level Russophobic libel” and an example of why they didn’t share a seat on the Security Council.
Thank you @CanadaONU for this kindergarten-level Russophobic libel! It only shows that your diplomatic skills and good manners are at lowest ebb and gives an idea why your country’s bid for a non-permanent seat in #SecurityCouncil was voted down twice in 20yrs by UN membership 👎🏻 https://t.co/3OOcvEP8R8
— Dmitry Polyanskiy (@Dpol_un) March 17, 2022
Russia has continued to claim its own view of the conflict on the world stage since the onset. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had argued that the “special military operation” they were conducting was not a war, but meant to prevent one.
FM #Lavrov: The goal of Russia’s special military operation is to stop any war that could take place on Ukrainian territory or that could start from there. pic.twitter.com/tLf7798DIh
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) March 7, 2022
This remark compelled the Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, to remind Lavrov of a hotline he could call “in case of need of mental help.”
Likewise, Russia had similarly responded at a March 1 meeting of the UN Human Rights Council where Lavrov had accused the European Union of a “Russophobic frenzy” that prohibited his flight path to attend in person and was providing Ukraine with lethal weapons that endangered the safety of his nation.
The council walked out of Lavrov’s speech in protest of his message and his claims that Russia was the victim throughout this conflict. The various envoys to the UN were similarly aligned with Canada on their treatment of Nebenzia’s letter by sharing it along with some additional messages about Russian aggression.
Denmark offered simply, “Full support to the edits as proposed by @CanadaUN #StandWithUkraine,” whereas Sweden and Finland both called out the “unjustified” and “senseless war.”
#FinlandUN 🇫🇮 strongly supports these edits made by @CanadaUN 🇨🇦
Russia must stop its aggression against Ukraine and put an end to this senseless war. All 🇺🇳 Member States have a duty to protect the #UNcharter. #StandWithUkraine️ #RespectTheCharter https://t.co/bhRt02W7sA
— Finland's Mission to the UN 🇫🇮🇺🇳 (@FinlandUN) March 17, 2022
🇸🇪 supports all edits made by @CanadaUN 👏👏👏
Russia is the aggressor. Russia has caused widespread human suffering in Ukraine. Russia must end this unjustified war.#StandWithUkraine️ https://t.co/cRvcRm6Y0S
— SwedenUN 🇸🇪 (@SwedenUN) March 17, 2022
Estonia too, declared that “The Russian aggression caused and is driving the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. We demand that Russia ends this war against #Ukraine now.”
Strong support to @CanadaUN edits.
The Russian aggression caused and is driving the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. We demand that Russia ends this war against #Ukraine now.#StandWithUkraine #StopWar https://t.co/yjUAT0SVUh
— Estonia in UN | #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 (@EstoniaUN) March 17, 2022
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