Russia's behaviour in the United Nations Security Council remains poorly understood. Applying principal-agent insights, this article analyses the Russian abstention towards Resolution 1973, which authorised intervention during the 2011 Libya crisis. Introducing a triangle of delegation, it shows that preferences diverged regarding the means and aims of the intervention. The article also investigates the information asymmetries which characterised the decision-making and indicates that this affected the Russian capacity to control the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which implemented Resolution 1973. It argues that Russia can only effectively control such a UN-authorised intervention by using, or threatening to use, its veto power.