Ukraine outrage fails to stop Russia taking Security Council presidency

Ukraine outrage fails to stop Russia taking Security Council presidency

Russia has taken over the rotating monthly presidency of the United Nations Security Council after Ukraine urged members to oppose the appointment.

Each of the 15 members of UN’s key decision-making body take the presidency on a rotating basis. Russia is taking over from Mozambique.

Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian presidential chief of staff, tweeted in English: “It’s not just a shame. It is another symbolic blow to the rules-based system of international relations.”

Yermak also condemned Iran for allegedly supplying Russia with weapons, including hundreds of assault drones which have targeted Ukraine’s infrastructure. Tehran denies the allegations.

“It is very telling that on the holiday of one terror state — Iran, another terror state — that Russia begins to preside over the UN Security Council,” Yermak posted, in reference to the Iranian Islamic Republic Day.

And Russia’s dictatorial leader, Vladimir Putin, faces an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for war crimes.

Russia previously had the presidency in February last year when it invaded Ukraine.

Russia’s UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzia told the Russian media that he planned to oversee debates on arms control and other issues. Nebenzya claimed at the time to have details about 30 biological laboratories in Ukraine undertaking “very dangerous” experiments.

He promised to debate a “new world order” to replace the “unipolar” model dominated by the US.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, is due to to chair debates on “effective multilateralism” and West Asia.

Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba called Russia’s UN presidency “the worst joke ever for April Fool’s Day”. He said it was a “stark reminder that something is wrong with the way international security architecture is functioning”.

Ukraine’s presidential adviser, Mykhaylo Podolyak, called Russia’s UN appointment “another rape of international law… an entity that wages an aggressive war, violates the norms of humanitarian and criminal law, destroys the UN Charter, neglects nuclear safety, can’t head the world’s key security body”.

Ukraine has called for Russia to be removed from the Security Council but UN charter does not allow for the removal of a permanent member.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told the media this week: “Unfortunately, Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and no feasible international legal pathway exists to change that reality.”

She said Russia was expected “to continue to use its seat on the council to spread disinformation”.

A Security Council vote requires nine votes in favour without a veto from one of the five permanent members, Russia, China, the US, UK and France.

Picture credit: Flickr

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