Thank you Mr President,
Russia has today brought into the Security Council a series of wild, completely baseless and irresponsible conspiracy theories.
Let me put it diplomatically: they are utter nonsense.
There is not a shred of credible evidence that Ukraine has a biological weapons programme.
Ukraine is a State Party to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) in good standing.
As we’ve heard, the research facilities are established facilities set up to deal with public health hazards.
The UN briefers today have confirmed this.
This is yet another lie in Russia’s disinformation campaign.
They said they would not invade Ukraine. They then invaded. Foreign Minister Lavrov then said they hadn’t invaded, and he repeated this absurdity yesterday.
A whole pack of lies.
They said Ukraine was preparing a “dirty bomb”.
That was a lie too.
They said yesterday that a pregnant woman staged her injuries in the Mariupol hospital bombing.
That was a grotesque lie.
Russia is sinking to new depths today, but this Council must not get dragged down with it.
So let’s get back to the facts.
Russia is invading Ukraine in violation of international law.
Russia is killing hundreds of civilians through indiscriminate shelling of Ukrainian cities.
It is using cluster munitions and thermobaric rockets, weapons designed to inflict maximum damage wherever they are deployed.
It is targeting hospitals and schools and committing war crimes.
Thousands of Russian and Ukrainian soldiers are dead. Deaths that will shatter the lives of families they have left behind.
2.5 million Ukrainians have become refugees. One million children forced to flee from President Putin’s invasion.
This is a war of choice that Russia needs to end.
Russia has broken its commitments under the Charter but we must not let it subvert the multilateral system itself.
As the UN said today, Russia is now putting at threat the global framework for peace and security. The Security Council is responsible for addressing many serious conflicts around the world. We have important work to do.
We do not sit in this Chamber to be an audience for Russia’s domestic propaganda.
And we should not allow Russia to abuse its permanent seat to spread disinformation and lies and pervert the purpose of the Security Council.
Let us resolve today that this Council remains focussed on the real threats to international peace and security.
I thank you.