Zelensky: Russia’s leadership of UN Security Council ‘absurd and destructive’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is blasting Russia’s leadership of the United Nations (UN) Security Council as “obviously absurd and destructive.”
Russia assumed the chair of the Security Council last week, as member states take turns at the head of the body each month. Russia’s assumption of the position prompted Zelensky to call out the global body’s move to allow a “terrorist state” to lead the influential council.
“Today, the terrorist state began to chair the UN Security Council,” Zelensky said in an address on Saturday. “It is hard to imagine something evident that proves the complete bankruptcy of such institutions.”
There are 15 member states of the council, which is meant to help secure global stability and peace, with just five spots held permanently by the U.S., France, U.K., China and Russia. All five of those countries have veto power on the council.
Russia leadership of the council comes as its war in Ukraine is well into its second year. The fighting has racked up steep military costs for both countries.
It has also wreaked havoc on the civilian population in Ukraine, including actions that have led the U.N. to conclude last month that the Russian military has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the conflict. The U.N. cited the indiscriminate bombing and attacks of civilian populations, civilian executions and the deportation of Ukrainian children from the country.
It also follows the International Criminal Court’s move to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin last month for suspected war crimes, pointing to the deportation of Ukrainian children.
Zelensky on Saturday seemed to call for reforms of the Security Council that would bar Russia from being able to head the council.
“There is no such form of terror that has not yet been committed by Russia,” Zelensky said.
“And there will be no such reason that will stop the reform of global institutions, in particular, the U.N. Security Council. The reform that is clearly overdue — so that a terrorist state and any other state that wants to be a terrorist cannot disrupt the peace.”
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