Ukraine protests Russia’s new UN Security Council role

Moscow’s upcoming presidency of the UNSC is a “bad joke,” Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has insisted

Ukraine protests Russia's new UN Security Council role

FILE PHOTO: Diplomats participate in the UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting at the UN headquarters in New York City. ©  AFP / Spencer Platt

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has attacked Russia’s upcoming presidency of the UN Security Council, claiming it would turn the body into an “insecurity council.” 

The presidency of the UNSC rotates monthly between its 15 members, with Russia scheduled to assume the role on Saturday, April 1, in accordance with alphabetic order.

“Russian UN Security Council presidency on April 1 is a bad joke,” Kuleba posted to Twitter on Thursday, also accusing Moscow of waging “a colonial war” against Ukraine.

The minister insisted that Russia, which is one of five UNSC permanent members along with the UK, China, France, and the US, has “usurped its seat” on the council.

“The world can’t be a safe place with Russia at UNSC,” Kuleba alleged, accompanying the post with the hashtags “#BadRussianJoke” and “#InsecurityCouncil.” 

Kuleba’s remarks were echoed by Kiev’s envoy at the UN, Sergey Kislitsya, who argued that “as of 1 April, they’re taking the level of absurdity to a new level.” 

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With Russia assuming the presidency, the UN Security Council will be “immobilized and incapable to address the issues of their primary responsibility, that is prevention of conflicts and then dealing with conflicts,” he claimed.

Kislitsya added that he would be staying away from the UNSC next month, and would only attend meetings in the event of an “issue of critical national security interest.” 

Ukraine is not a Security Council member, but its representative has often been called to speak at the body throughout the conflict with Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has made it clear that Russia has no intention of giving up its presidency of the UNSC.

“Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and will exercise all the rights that are provided by this, naturally, remaining a responsible member of the Security Council and the UN as a whole,” he said.

Speaking about the month-long Russian presidency, Peskov promised that it would be “eventful.” 

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Moscow’s permanent representative at the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said earlier this week that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would visit several meetings of the UNSC in April.

Russia has said that the “signature events” organized as part of its presidency will include sessions dedicated to multipolarity, the situation in the Middle East, and the problem of uncontrolled global arms supplies.

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