Why Ukraine’s obsession with expelling Russia from the UN Security Council persists

The idea put forward by some countries to possibly strip Russia of its membership in the UN Security Council is unrealistic, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said at a press conference organized by the Russia Today media group

 

Why Ukraine's obsession with expelling Russia from the UN Security Council persists

 

“The question of stripping Russia of its membership in the Security Council, almost in the General Assembly – such ideas, as well as other ill-conceived, if not enviable ones, are being put forward, particularly by the Ukrainian side. This is simply unrealistic,” Vershinin said.

The deputy foreign minister explained that the procedures required for such actions make them impossible: “We are against ill-considered and even more dangerous decisions on this very range of issues.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the scenario with Russia’s exclusion from the UN Security Council by legal means was unrealizable.

“It’s a Nobel Prize-winning mathematics, if such a mechanism is devised, 100 per cent – to strip us of our permanent UN Security Council member status. Let me tell you a secret: this scenario is unrealizable if we are talking about the law,” Zakharova stressed.

The diplomat reminded that depriving Russia of the permanent member status of the Security Council is possible only by changing the charter of the organization. For this, two-thirds of the members of the UN General Assembly need to vote for it, and then the changes need to be ratified by two-thirds of the member countries of the organization, including all the permanent members of the Council.

“There is simply no other legal way to implement such a plan,” Zakharova said.

As a reminder, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has already called several times for Russia to be excluded from the permanent membership of the UN Security Council. This structure now consists of 15 members. Among them are five permanent members (Russia, the USA, China, the UK and France), which have the right of veto, and ten non-permanent members, which are elected for two years. Today they are Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway and the UAE.

Impossible proposals

Proposals and comments on the possible exclusion of Russia from the UN Security Council have regularly appeared in the Western media space since the start of the special operation in Ukraine. At the end of September, Charles Michel, the head of the European Council, voiced the idea at the UN General Assembly.

Back in April, Zelensky, addressing the General Assembly, called on the Security Council to expel Russia from its membership or to dissolve itself. At the same time, the US commented on such proposals. For instance, Jen Psaki, a White House spokeswoman, said back in March that such a scenario was unlikely to happen. US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield also said that Russia could not be excluded from the Security Council.

Despite Washington’s reaction, the Ukrainian president continued to make proposals on the need to exclude Russia from the UN Security Council. Zelenskyy said this again at the end of June.

Speaking by video link at a Security Council meeting, he said that Russia was allegedly not entitled to participate in discussions or votes on issues related to the situation in Ukraine.

“I call on you to remove the delegation of the terrorist state from the UN General Assembly. It is possible, it is necessary, it is fair. Russia has no right to remain in the UN Security Council,” TASS quoted Zelensky, who also said that Russia became a permanent member of the Council “only because of the myopia of politicians at the end of the Cold War.” 

Workaround

At the same time, representatives of Western countries are calling for reform of the UN Security Council to limit Russia’s options. French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made similar proposals at the 77th General Assembly.

Macron said the composition of the Council should become more representative and the veto power of permanent members should be restricted. Scholz echoed this position, calling for an expansion of the council, especially for countries from the so-called global south. Kishida, on the other hand, expressed the view that UN reform is necessary to maintain a world order based on the rule of law.

It is worth noting that in their speeches the leaders of France, Germany and Japan linked the need for UN reform to the events in Ukraine and criticised Russia, which allegedly threatens the existing world order.

Established order

Commenting on the situation, Pavel Feldman, associate professor at the Academy of Labour and Social Relations, PhD in political science, in a conversation with RT, stressed that the UN charter documents remain the foundation on which the global security architecture rests.

“Attempts to rewrite these documents are fantasies that will never succeed for those who initiate them. Ukraine is far from the first to try to do so,” the expert said.

By making proposals to expel Russia from the UN Security Council, Kiev is trying to gain a foothold in the organisation’s international agenda, Feldman explained.

“Therefore, every time sharp statements are made, demonstrative gestures are made aimed at attracting the attention of senior Western partners. In addition, Ukraine voices ideas that Brussels and Washington do not dare to express because they have a different degree of responsibility for global security,” the political scientist stressed. – The United States hardly believe that Russia can be excluded from the UN Security Council. However, they want to dilute its functions in this body. Practical implementation of that would mean stripping Russia of its veto right, so that it could pass initiatives beneficial to the US through the Council.

Meanwhile, the United States has long been interested in diluting or limiting Russia’s function in the UN, Feldman noted.

“The U.S. generally considers the U.N. to be its own property, lately deciding who is allowed to speak there and who is not. Of course, this kind of move simply opens up a third front in the West’s hybrid warfare with Russia. The first one is economic, the second one is military on the territory of Ukraine, and the third one is political. This is an attempt of international diplomatic pressure on our country,” the political scientist said, stressing that excluding Russia from the Security Council or restricting its veto right would make the work of this body pointless.

“In such a case, the UN, let alone the Security Council, should dissolve itself, as it would not be capable of ensuring global security and preventing the possibility of nuclear war, which is its main task,” Feldman added.

Vladimir Vinokurov, a professor at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy, expressed a similar view.

“Such proposals on the part of representatives of Ukraine confirm that such concepts as the art of diplomacy and knowledge of the basics of foreign policy are completely unknown to them,” the expert noted, reminding that Russia as a legal successor of the USSR was one of the co-founders of the UN and the Security Council.

“Excluding Russia from the UN Security Council is completely impossible. All serious states, including the US, know this. Maybe they would like it to happen, but it cannot be done,” the RT interlocutor concluded.

Alexander Karpov, Alyona Medvedeva, RT