KYIV: Russia’s presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of April is “a slap in the face to the international community”, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Saturday.
“I urge the current UNSC members to thwart any Russian attempts to abuse its presidency,“ Kuleba said at the start of Russia’s tenure of the body’s rotating presidency.
In a statement on Twitter, Kuleba called Russia “an outlaw on the UNSC”.
Later this month, Moscow has said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is planning to chair a UN Security Council meeting on “effective multilateralism”.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has also said that Lavrov will lead a debate on the Middle East on April 25.
The United States has criticised Russia’s role and its permanent seat on the Security Council.
“A country that flagrantly violates the UN Charter and invades its neighbour has no place on the UN Security Council,“ White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said earlier.
“Unfortunately Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and no feasible international legal pathway exists to change that reality,“ she added, calling the presidency “a largely ceremonial position.”
Kuleba had earlier called Russia’s Security Council presidency “a bad joke”.
The presidency rotates every month between the 15 member states, and Moscow last chaired the council in February 2022.
Russia would hold little influence on decisions but would be in charge of the agenda. - AFP