Push to end Moscow’s status as permanent Security Council member gains steam after vote condemning attack on Ukraine
The US State Department may try to find a way to boot Russia from its permanent seat on the UN Security Council, shaking up the international body’s balance of power amid outrage over the war in Ukraine.
Washington “investigating the prospects”Wendy Sherman, Deputy Secretary for State to Russia, told US lawmakers Wednesday that Russia would be removed from the Security Council as one of five permanent members. No decision has been made on whether to try to achieve such an outcome, which would likely require changes to the UN’s charter.
Sherman’s comments came after the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn Russia for last week’s invasion of Ukraine and demand that Moscow withdraw its forces from the former Soviet republic immediately. After a vote that failed last Friday at the Security Council’s General Assembly, Russia used its permanent member veto to block the resolution with a non-binding resolution.
Since the Ukraine invasion, talk of Russia being stripped of its UN status has increased. Some US lawmakers call for Russia to be removed from the Security Council.
Ukraine’s government has repeatedly urged the UN to reconsider Russia’s status on the Security Council. Kiev’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said on Wednesday that there should be a “thorough and unbiased” legal review of Moscow’s permanent seat. “We are confident that when the analysis is complete, it will be evident that Russia’s presence at the UN Security Council is illegitimate,”He said.
Like the US, the UK government is reportedly open to downgrading Russia’s UN status. “I think it’s something we want to discuss with the UN, obviously,”Boris Johnson spoke on Tuesday as a spokesperson for the UK Prime Minster. He said that he added: “What is right to say is that we want to see Russia isolated diplomatically, and we will consider all options to achieve that.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rejected the notion that it’s even possible to deprive Russia of its permanent Security Council seat. “There is no mechanism,” Moscow’s top diplomat said in an Al Jazeera interview on Wednesday. “Don’t try to explain anything to the British representatives. Their absolute inadequacy has long been well known to everyone.”
NATO and the United States have never been approved for starting wars. Why?
The UN was created in 1945 and the Soviet Union was one of five permanent council members. Russia took over this position after 1991’s collapse of Soviet Union. Ukrainian officials have argued that the UN charter granted permanent council membership to the Soviet Union, so Russia’s right to the seat can be challenged.