Ukraine outraged by Russia’s chairmanship of the UN Security Council By Reuters


© Reuters. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky visits the positions of Ukrainian border guards near the border with Russia, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Sumy region, Ukraine, March 28, 2023. Press Service of the President of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS 2/3

KYIV (Reuters) – Russia, whose leader is accused of war crimes, took over the functions of the UN Security Council on Saturday, angering Ukraine, with President Volodymyr Zelensky calling it an absurd and destructive move.

The last time Russia alternately presided over a body responsible for maintaining peace and combating acts of international aggression was in February 2022, when Moscow forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, we … have clearly absurd and destructive news,” Zelenskiy said in his daily video message, adding that a five-month-old boy was killed in Russian shelling on Friday.

“At the same time, Russia chairs the UN Security Council. It is difficult to imagine something that more proves the complete failure of such institutions,” he said.

The presidency rotates alphabetically every month among the 15 members. While this is largely procedural, the Kremlin and other Russian officials have vowed to “use all their rights” in this role.

The United States on Thursday urged Russia to “behave professionally” when it assumes the role, saying there were no means to block Moscow in office.

In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC), an international justice body not affiliated with the UN, issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin and his Children’s Ombudsman, charging them with the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine. .

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Russia’s chairmanship of the Security Council “a slap in the face of the international community.” Zelenskiy said it was time for a major overhaul of global institutions, including the Security Council.

“Obviously, reform is needed to prevent a terrorist state — and any other state that wants to be a terrorist — from destroying the world,” he said.

After some 400 days of a war that has claimed thousands of lives, destroyed Ukrainian cities and forced millions of civilians to flee, Russia continues to seize parts of the country as it advances to the east.

Earlier, Zelensky’s adviser Andriy Yermak also lashed out at Iran, which Kyiv and its allies accuse of supplying weapons to Russia. Tehran denies supplying weapons to Russia.

“It is very significant that on the holiday of one terrorist state – Iran – another terrorist state – Russia – begins to chair the UN Security Council,” Yermak wrote on Twitter, referring to the holiday of the Day of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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