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Russia has violated UN resolutions by procuring weapons from North Korea and Iran to use in Ukraine: UK statement at the UN Security Council

Russia requested this meeting to talk, yet again, about weapons proliferation to Ukraine. So let’s be clear about who is doing what, and who is breaking
international law and undermining the UN Charter.

President, as we are all aware, Russia has repeatedly violated resolutions of this
Council by procuring weapons from North Korea and Iran to use in Ukraine.

Russia has bought several dozen ballistic missiles and millions of artillery shells from
North Korea, which have been used in attacks on population centres across Ukraine.
Russia has procured thousands of Iranian Shahed drones and has used them in a
campaign against Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure, which is intended to beat Ukraine into submission by depriving its civilians of power and heat.

Of course, Russia tries to hide its behaviour by vetoing the UN Panel of Experts, which has provided scrutiny of North Korea’s attempts to evade sanctions and advance its weapons programme. As many of us said in the General Assembly yesterday, this veto undermined the global non-proliferation architecture, as well as this Security Council. Russia does not listen to this Council, nor to the General Assembly. So instead, I urge North Korea to stop supporting Russia’s unprovoked, neo-imperial war of aggression against another sovereign state.

President, Russia does not care about arms control. As well as weapons from North Korea and Iran, it has used Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missiles, dual-capable ballistic missiles, cluster munitions, landmines, and countless more weapons from its arsenal.

While Russia might be stripping kitchenware to make its missiles, they nonetheless inflict suffering on civilians across Ukraine.

Over 40% of Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure has been destroyed, and the
ICC has issued new indictments against Russian military leaders for the campaign of
strikes against numerous electric power plants and substations in Ukraine.

President, what Russia wants is complete freedom to intimidate, to coerce and to kill the people of Ukraine. We are talking here about unchecked aggression.

This Council was created because the world learnt the lessons from the first half of
the 20th century; that countries cannot be allowed to invade their neighbours and
subjugate their people.

In that same spirit, global support is helping Ukraine defend itself, by providing air
defences to protect its cities and its people, and weapons to fight back against the
Russian army; an army that has been responsible for summary executions, for torture, for rape, and the atrocities committed two years ago in Bucha.

President, any country that cares about the UN Charter, the sovereignty of states
and sanctity of human life should support Ukraine.

The UK has given around $15 billion to date. The UK will remain by Ukraine’s side as it fights Russia’s aggression. We will continue to replenish Ukraine’s air defences
and provide the weapons needed to defend its territory. We will do whatever it takes,
for as long as it takes, to ensure that Ukraine wins.

Of course, Russia could stop this war tomorrow if it withdrew its forces from Ukrainian soil. Instead, it has begun another round of conscription; rounding up its young people and sending them to fight and die in a war of choice. Currently, around 1000 Russians are being killed or wounded in Ukraine every day. Russia has already suffered 350,000 casualties in Ukraine. This is a tragedy for Russia too.

President, the Russian delegation has told us countless lies about this war, but the truth is, today’s meeting is perhaps a new low. If I’ve heard correctly, we’ve heard today from Russia’s ambassador that Ukrainians are Nazis, acting under the cover of the Islamic State, whilst simultaneously headed by a democratically-elected Jewish president. Ambassador, that is quite the combination and, quite frankly, it is preposterous.

Thank you, President.

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