Fury as Russia becomes US Security Council president

Russia has taken the presidency of the UN Security Council despite Ukraine urging members to block the move.


Each of the council’s 15 members takes up the presidency for a month, on a rotating pattern. The last time Russia had the presidency, February 2022, it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.


It means the Security Council is being led by a country whose president is subject to an international arrest warrant for alleged war crimes. The International Criminal Court – which is not a UN institution – issued the warrant for Vladimir Putin last month.


Despite Ukraine’s complaints, the United States said it could not block Russia – a permanent council member – from assuming the presidency The other permanent members of the council are the UK, US, France, and China.


The role is mostly procedural, but Moscow’s ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzia, told the Russian Tass news agency that he planned to oversee several debates, including one on arms control.  He said he would discuss a “new world order” that, he said, was coming to “replace the unipolar one”.


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Russia’s presidency “the worst joke ever for April Fool’s Day” and a “stark reminder that something is wrong with the way international security architecture is functioning”. And in a further comment on Saturday, he called it “a slap in the face to the international community”.

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