Ukraine Says Russia Holding UN Security Council Presidency “A Symbolic Blow”

Ukraine has joined the chorus of anger from Western nations by calling Russia’s holding the UN Security Council presidency for April “a symbolic blow,” as per a report in Al-Jazeera.

With relations with the West at their weakest since the Cold War due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow takes over the chair of the Security Council as part of its monthly rotation among the 15 member states. According to the outlet, the Chief of Staff to the Ukrainian President, Andriy Yermak described Russia’s position as a “symbolic blow”.

“It’s not just a shame. It is another symbolic blow to the rules-based system of international relations,” he wrote on Twitter.


Russia taking the presidency, according to Dmytro Kuleba, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, is “a slap in the face to the international community.” “I urge the current UNSC members to thwart any Russian attempts to abuse its presidency,” he tweeted on Saturday, calling Russia “an outlaw on the UNSC”.

When Moscow last presided over the council in February 2022, which was also the same month it invaded Ukraine, Kyiv demanded that Russia be expelled from the body, as per the outlet.

It is to be noted that Russia will be in charge of setting the agenda but will have little impact on decisions. According to Russia, Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov will preside over a UN Security Council discussion on “effective multilateralism” this month. Mr Lavrov will moderate a discussion on the Middle East on April 25, according to Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry. The Kremlin also declared that it intended to “exercise all its rights” in that capacity.

The United States also criticised Russia for being a permanent member of the Security Council and its participation. There is no way to prevent Russia from taking the position, the White House urged, adding that it should “conduct itself professionally.”

According to White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre, “a country that flagrantly violates the UN Charter and invades its neighbour has no place on the UN Security Council.”

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