Russia Rejects Renewing UNSMIL Mandate

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First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky announced Moscow was refusing to extend the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), before assigning a new Head of mission.

Polyansky confirmed Russia’s support for the draft resolution prepared by the United Kingdom regarding the extension. Such resolution considers that “the compromise solution has become the only possible solution for everyone at this stage,” he said.

The diplomat explained that “the current composition of the UN mediation efforts in Libya is not in line with the urgent problems of the settlement. This situation does not suit all of us, as it is not normal for UNSMIL to be decapitated for a long time, which limits the tools available to it to support Libyan dialogue.”

Polyansky denounced the extension of the work of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Stephanie Williams, “who does not have an appropriate mandate from the Security Council,” despite assurances that “her appointment was a temporary measure.”

He called for “Antonio Guterres to present a worthy and credible candidate for the position of his Special Representative for Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, who suits the main Libyan players. As well as the regional ones, for their approval by members of the Security Council.”

The Russian diplomat said that the “current document is a clear indication of the need to take urgent measures in this regard,” and hoping not to have to “take into account the deliberate evasion of this issue in favour of opportunistic interests. The mission needs a head who enjoys the real confidence of the Libyans.”

He stressed the rejection of any settlement outside the framework set by the Security Council. Especially “when noticing another round of dual power in Libya. The country reached the brink of the abyss, after which the armed conflict can resume, noting that the fate of Libya and its people is now at stake.”

“The longer the current situation continues, the more dangerous this period becomes, not only for the mission, but also for the role of the United Nations in Libya as a whole. This situation does not encourage the Libyan parties to continue constructive work aimed at unifying the country and state institutions,” he added.

Polyansky explained that the consensus to extend the mandate of the mission, in order to give more substantive content to the future decision should be after UNSMIL finally finds a leader.