Russian envoy to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, says Western countries are using the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a political tool to cover up Washington's misdemeanors in Syria.
Speaking at a UN Security Council session in New York on Thursday, the senior diplomat asserted that the US has perpetrated horrible crimes in Syria without any accountability and continues to occupy parts of the Arab country’s territory.
Nebenzya denounced blatant double standards exhibited by Western countries and their financial patronage of the ICC to exploit the Hague-based tribunal as a political tool to secure immunity for their military forces from prosecution over horrendous war crimes.
“You have a long record of crimes. If you really want to condemn aggression, first condemn your military adventures and your bloodthirsty colonial wars against indigenous peoples. Start by holding yourself accountable. This step may bring us closer to ensuring a just world order in which there is no place for any self-exception,” Nebenzia said, addressing the Western countries.
The senior Russian diplomat pointed to political pressure on the ICC, which he said may lead to inconsistent decisions on the Ukraine crisis that Moscow rejects.
Nebenzia also strongly criticized the West's position on crimes being committed by neo-Nazi militia forces in Ukraine, stating that “justice becomes a plaything when the West praises the neo-Nazi crimes and describes them as heroes.”
Last week, Nebenzya said US and European sanctions on Syria were to blame for Syria’s widespread humanitarian crisis.
“Establishing fully-fledged peace and stability in that country is hindered by the illegal occupation by the US of a significant part” of Syria," the Russian UN ambassador said in New York during a UN Security Council meeting on May 25.
He slammed “inhumane living conditions” and “havoc” in areas under effective US control, where authorities “plundered natural and agricultural resources".
This is the "recipe for how to combat the global energy and food crisis, according to the American way", he added
The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.
Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country's rich mineral resources.
Former US President Donald Trump on several occasions acknowledged that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil.
After failing to overthrow the Syrian government through militant proxies and direct involvement in the conflict, the US government has now stepped up its economic war on the Arab country.
In June 2020, the US enacted the so-called Caesar Act that imposed the toughest sanctions ever on Syria meant to choke off revenue sources for the government.
The sanctions have crippled the war-torn country’s economy by barring foreign companies from doing trade with Damascus.
Syria says the real purpose of the measures is to put pressure on Syrians and their livelihoods.
Officials also say the increased smuggling of strategic Syrian resources is the latest inhumane tactic using people's basic needs as a tool to mount pressure on the democratically-elected government in Damascus.