Russia has taken on the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council. Selensky sees in this the “complete bankruptcy of such institutions”. The EU wants to protect the body from “any abuse” by Moscow.
Accompanied by harsh criticism and urgent warnings, Russia took over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for a month on Saturday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described the process as evidence of the “bankruptcy” of international institutions. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced on Sunday that the EU would protect the Security Council from “any abuse” by Russia.
The presidency of the UN Security Council rotates monthly, with the 15 member states alternating in alphabetical order. In April it is Russia’s turn.
“Terrorists must not preside anywhere”
In his nightly video message to the Ukrainian people, Zelensky said it was “hard to imagine anything that (more clearly) proves the utter bankruptcy of such institutions.” There is “no form of terror that Russia has not already practiced.” A reform of global institutions, including the UN Security Council, is “overdue,” the Ukrainian president said. “Terrorists must lose, must be held responsible for terrorism and must not preside anywhere.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had previously described the Russian presidency of the UN Security Council as a “slap in the face to the international community”. At the beginning of the Russian presidency on Saturday, Kuleba urged the members of the Security Council to “frustrate any Russian attempt to abuse its presidency”.
EU protects against “any abuse” by Moscow
Borrell assured that the EU would resist “any abuse” of the Security Council by Moscow’s presidency. “Despite permanent membership of the Security Council, Russia repeatedly violates the principles of the UN legal system,” wrote the EU foreign policy representative on Twitter.
Moscow had announced in the past few days that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would chair a Security Council meeting on “Effective Multilateralism” in April. Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also said Lavrov would chair a debate on the Middle East on April 25.
The US had previously criticized Russia’s role and permanent seat on the UN Security Council. “A country that shamelessly violates the UN Charter and attacks its neighbor has no place on the UN Security Council,” said White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre recently. “Unfortunately” Russia is a permanent member of the body and there is “no practicable international legal process” to change this.