US weighs in on removing Russia from Security Council
Russia will remain a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and nobody can change that, US officials have admitted, following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request to exclude Moscow from the UN’s most powerful body.
“[President Zelensky’s] frustration, which we share, [about the fact] that Russia is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. We don’t see that changing,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated at a briefing on Tuesday.
Earlier the same day, Zelensky addressed the Security Council, which had assembled to discuss the alleged civilian casualties in the Ukrainian town of Bucha. As the Russian army stands accused of committing war crimes, the Ukrainian leader called on the Security Council to either exclude Moscow or disband.
“You can do two things: exclude Russia as an aggressor and a source of war so that it cannot block decisions regarding its aggression or if there is no other option and alternative, then you all need to disband,” the Ukrainian president explained.
In response to Zelensky’s comments, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has offered the Ukrainian president a taste of his own medicine.
“If a person believes that a structure that does not succeed has only one way out, which is to dissolve itself, then, perhaps, he should, first of all, apply the same principle to himself,” the diplomat said, in an interview with Radio Sputnik.
Meanwhile, in an interview with MSNBC broadcaster, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield has claimed that, despite Russia’s role at the Security Council, Moscow is isolated on the world stage.
“Over the past six weeks, we have worked diligently to isolate Russia in the Security Council. And they’re isolated. They’re isolated in the Security Council. They’re isolated in the General Assembly and around the world.”
The ambassador, however, has also admitted that it is impossible to kick Moscow off the Security Council.
“They’re a member [of the Security Council]. It’s a fact. We can’t change that fact. But we certainly can keep them isolated. We can keep them on their heels,” explained the American diplomat.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov debunked the myth that Russia is isolated on the world stage.
“There is no isolation [of Russia]. Only those, who have mentally and ideologically embraced the inevitability of the West’s dictatorship on the world stage speak about such isolation,” Russia’s top diplomat pointed out. “We have a huge number of partners in the Asia-Pacific region, and in Asia, and in Africa, in Latin America. We have good relations with the vast majority of organizations that are created by developing countries,” he added.
Since the launch of its military operation in late February, Moscow has repeatedly denied Ukraine’s war crime allegations, claiming that its army does not kill civilians. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said that videos and photos presented as evidence of Russia’s purported atrocities in Bucha are nothing but an “orchestrated falsification.”
Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the 2014 Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia is now demanding that Ukraine officially adopt neutrality and that it will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists Russia’s offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it had been planning to retake the secessionist regions by force.