‘War, lies and hatred’: Russian ambassador to Geneva resigns over Ukraine invasion | Russia

A senior Russian diplomat in Geneva has resigned following an invasion of his country Ukraine A rare political opposition from within the Russian foreign policy establishment.

Boris Bondarev, adviser to Russia’s permanent embassy to the United Nations in Geneva, wrote in a public statement: “I have never been ashamed of my country.”

“Today the Foreign Ministry is not about diplomacy,” wrote a 20-year-old senior diplomat at the Russian Foreign Ministry. “It’s about war, lies and hatred. It serves the interests of some who contribute to the further isolation and degradation of my country.

Boris Bondarev said resigning was too simple. Photo: Manual / AP

Bondarev was a high-ranking diplomat who did not publicly resign from the Russian Foreign Ministry during the war that began in February. In a phone interview with the Guardian, Bondarev confirmed his writing of the statement and submitted his resignation letter on Monday.

“The result is very simple,” Bondarev said. “When you see your country doing bad things and being a civil servant, it is your decision to sever your ties with the government. We all have to take responsibility. And I do not want to take any responsibility for what I do not accept.

Bondarev published the report on his Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, and sent copies to ambassadors and media outlets. He said he went to work on Monday, submitted his resignation letter and walked out.

“This decision was made on February 24. But it took a while to gather some resolutions to do so,” he said.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva – based human rights organization, called Bondarev a “hero.”

“We now call on all other Russian diplomats at the United Nations – and around the world – to follow his moral example and resign,” he said.

Neuer called on Bondarev to be allowed to speak at the Davos forum this week, at a mountain resort of the world’s political and business elite. Switzerland.

The Russian media, Commersant, confirmed Pondicherry’s statement that it knew the names of several ambassadors who had resigned from the Russian Foreign Ministry since the start of the “special military operation” in Ukraine, but none of them had made public statements about it.

Bondarev, an adviser on the arms control of the Russian diplomatic mission in Geneva, said other Russian diplomats had similar sentiments about the war, but were unlikely to speak out.

“There are people who think the way I do and see what the situation is,” he said. “But I do not know if some of them will follow my example. I don’t think there will be a lot.

He said there had been no response so far from the foreign ministry since he submitted his resignation letter on Monday.

“I don’t know what [Russian] There will be a reaction, ”he said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. No plans.”

Asked if he had sought asylum outside Russia, he said: “I think it would be very grateful if someone would come forward to help in this difficult situation.”

Regarding his return to Russia, he said “it would not be a good idea now.”

In his public statement, Ponderev targeted top officials such as Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov, calling the Russian foreign minister “a good example of the degeneration of the system.”

“Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine is indeed a crime not only against the entire Western world and against the Ukrainian people, but perhaps even the most heinous crime against the people of Russia, with a bold Z-crossing letter. All hopes and opportunities for a prosperous free society in our country,” he said. Wrote.

“Those who conceived this war want only one thing – to be in power forever, to live in luxurious tasteless palaces,” Travel in tons of comparable boats And the cost to the entire Russian navy, enjoying unlimited power and absolute punishment, “he said.” They are ready to achieve that. How many lives are sacrificed. Thousands of Russians and Ukrainians have already died for this.

Bondarev has been a career ambassador to the Foreign Ministry since 2002. He has served as a consultant on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty for nearly a decade, first in Moscow and later at the UN and other international organizations in Geneva for Russia’s permanent mission.

At the time, he said he remained a diplomat even as relations with the West deteriorated because he felt there was “some place for diplomacy, some place to return to normalcy somehow”.

“But now after February 24th, we have jumped into an abyss, nowhere to return to normal, nowhere to return,” he continued. “Today we can see for sure that there can be no negotiation, this is a complete war.”

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