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8 Apr, 2022 19:25

UN suspension ‘orchestrated by US’ – Russia

The decision to boot Russia from the UN body was “purely political,” Gennady Gatilov told RT
UN suspension ‘orchestrated by US’ – Russia

Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, told RT on Friday that Russia’s suspension from the UN’s Human Rights Council “has nothing to do with the protection of human rights,” and was orchestrated by the US to “punish the Russian Federation.”

“It’s a purely politically initiated decision to punish the government of a country which is pursuing independent foreign and internal policy,” Gatilov stated. “Orchestrated by the United States and its allies…this decision was taken just to punish the Russian Federation.”

The United Nations’ General Assembly voted on Thursday to suspend Russia from the organization’s Human Rights Council. The resolution passed with 93 votes, while 24 members opposed it and 58 abstained.

The vote was proposed on Monday by US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who accused Russian forces of committing war crimes after videos and photos emerged from the town of Bucha in Ukraine showing dead bodies, which Kiev claimed were civilians killed by Russian forces. Moscow has vehemently denied the accusation, claiming Kiev has manipulated evidence and calling on the UN Security Council to investigate the alleged atrocities.

The UK, which is currently presiding over the Security Council, initially attempted to block Russia’s request for an investigation. Although the circumstances behind the killings at Bucha remain unknown, Western nations ratcheted up their sanctions on Moscow in response.

Gatilov told RT that Russia voluntarily withdrew from the Human Rights Council, and that Moscow has no interest in further “cooperation and participation in this body.”

“It doesn’t mean that we are not going to implement our human rights obligations,” he added. “We will do this, but in other formats.”

The only other country ever to be expelled from the UN Human Rights Council was Libya, in 2011, as NATO bombed the North African country to help jihadists overthrow the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

The US left the Council of its own accord in 2018, with the administration of Donald Trump denouncing many of its members as “authoritarian governments” with “abhorrent human rights records.”

Joe Biden’s administration returned the US to the UN body in October 2021.