Naturally, there are many zigzags ahead. For example, the western permanent members of the UN Security Council sent the junior diplomats to Sochi if any at all. But the senior ones in the Council are starting a new round of talks about the chemical weapons that Assad supposedly still has.
Let’s go to New York Russian UN mission, we haven't been there in a while. The heart of New York. The famous Manhattan skyscraper peninsula. And further on it 67th Street. Between Lexington and 3rd Avenue. The Russian permanent mission is there. Although there are so many signs at the entrance that you're not quite sure where you are. Maybe we got the wrong address? Russian permanent representation to the UN awaited us inside. But the flags, the flags…
- As I understand, UN, Russia, Belarus.... Sweden?
Vasily Nebenzya: No, this is Ukraine's flag.
So it was from immemorial times. But no, we are able to remember. At the historic meeting of the Big Three in Yalta, where the UN work formula was approved, Stalin tried to get a separate membership in the UN not only for the whole USSR, but also for the Belorussian, Ukrainian and even Lithuanian SSR. He managed to get Ukraine and Belarus in. And since the Soviet times we're sharing the space.
Vasily Nebenzya: We're not kicking anyone out, from neither the house nor the heart.
We go further and pass the portraits of all previous UN representatives from the Soviet Union and the country that followed, the Russian Federation. The record holder was Vitaly Churkin, more than 10 years.
And even further, the Hall of Columns.
Vasily Nebenzya: A miniature one.
Here the mission holds receptions. The atmosphere is just what you need. Pushkin's fairy tales surround the hall. We will return to the pictures later, but now to more serious topics.
How did the Russian diplomats in NY manage to ensure the arrival of the special UN Gen Sec representative to Sochi?
- Was it a long process? How did you convince them?
Vasily Nebenzya: We didn't hide anything. What we are accused of, that we're trying to subjugate the Geneva process, doesn't correspond to the reality at all. We want to give a new impetus to the Geneva process, which has been confirmed by the results of the Congress and it being held.
And now the reaction of the UN Secretary General himself, Antonio Guterres in our program.
Antonio Guterres: "I must express my gratitude to Minister Lavrov and the whole of the Russian Federation because the outcome of the Congress fully corresponds to our mutual understanding".
But Nebenzya says, there were "both jealousy and alertness" from some Security Council colleagues.
Vasily Nebenzya: There was pressure, and we know about it, just as they pressured and crushed the Syrian opposition.
However, there is no single anti-Russian front in the Security Council. First, there's China. Secondly…
Not so far from NY, where the UN headquarters are located, in Washington, on Capitol Hill in Congress, Trump still had a moment when he received cross-party applause, reminding that he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But in this matter, allied powers and permanent UN Security Council like France and UK, are against the US. That is, the current US permanent representative to the UN, Nikki Haley, is all alone.
- It's known that the US most often sends women as permanent representatives to the UN. Here, there are two women: a mermaid and Baba Yaga. Which one of them is the allegory?
Vasily Nebenzya: I wouldn't associate her with either one, I prefer this image.
- The gray wolf?
- Uhh, the thinking young woman.
Previous such a woman, and of course, not a thoughtful one, was Samantha Power. Everyone remembers what kind of issues she had with Vitaly Churkin. Sparks were flying! And now? Now it's the snow-covered state of Massachusetts. Here, at Harvard University, when the Democrats could retain neither the White House nor the UN Security Council post, Power returned to teach. I show an excerpt from our interview with her at Harvard to Nebenzya in NY.
Samantha Power: "Not so long ago the Security Council couldn't renew the work of the joint effort in identifying those who used chemical weapons in Syria. Russia didn't allow it to be continued, because the mechanism pointed one time at ISIS, but mostly on the Assad regime, which is supported by Russia.”
Nebenzya reminds that Russia was against extending the effort because of how remote investigations were carried out.
"There is surprising staged footage of people running around a crater of a just exploded Sarin in anti-flu masks".
But the most interesting information. In the Twitter of the current US representative, Nikki Haley, a photo appeared this week of the same President Trump, who, it appears, before publicizing his message, had a meeting with all the permanent members of the Security Council, including Nebenzya.
- Iran was discussed again there. And in what context, what did he say?
Vasily Nebenzya: Our American colleagues have an irrational attitude toward this country, which reminds the attitude of Senator Cato to Carthage.
- "Carthage must be burnt down"?
But again, on the issue of the Iranian nuclear deal, the US still alone. In the Security Council its position is opposed not only by Russia and China but also by the UK and France. As for the Syrian conference in Sochi, it was already held.
Antonio Guterres: "Next we need to form and get the Constitutional Committee to start working and at the same time somehow restart the Geneva process".
Here, in the reception hall of the Russian mission to the UN, we find a table that hasn't been moved because there are so many different events here all the time.
Vasily Nebenzya: We invite everyone. We don't divide countries into friends and enemies. I regularly invite both Ukrainians and Georgians.
- Do the attend?
- The do.
From Boston and NYC. Vesti, News on Saturday.