Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lambasted Russia’s UN Security Council Chairmanship, calling the rogue nation a “terrorist state” as it assumed its new role in the United Nations.
Zelensky described the United Nations’ awarding of the UNSC Chairmanship to Russia as both “ obviously absurd” and “destructive.”
“Terrorists must lose, must be held accountable for terror, and not preside anywhere, “said Zelensky in an official statement, referring to Russia’s new role in the UN Security Council.
“There is no such form of terror that has not yet been committed by Russia,” the Ukrainian President stressed.
Zelensky also expressed outrage at the Council’s choice of country to head its assembly.
“There will be no such reason that will stop the reform of global institutions, in particular, the UN Security Council. The reform that is clearly overdue – so that a terrorist state and any other state that wants to be a terrorist cannot disrupt the peace,” he further pointed out.
The Ukrainian leader expressed dismay at the UNSC’s choice, saying, “it is hard to imagine something evident that proves the complete bankruptcy of such institutions.”
“Today, the terrorist state began to chair the UN Security Council. Yesterday, the Russian army killed another Ukrainian child – a five-month-old boy named Danylo. From Avdiyivka, in Donbas, together with his parents who were injured. Russian artillery… One of the hundreds of artillery strikes that the terrorist state launches every day. And at the same time, Russia chairs the UN Security Council.”
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is among the United Nation’s six principal organs. It is responsible for ensuring international peace and security, recommending new UN members to the General Assembly, and approving any changes to the UN Charter.
UNSC is authorized to establish peacekeeping operations, impose international sanctions, and authorize military action, the only UN body with authority to impose binding resolutions on member countries.
The Ukrainian minister calls Russia’s taking over of the UN Security Council “The worst joke ever.” The worst part is it’s no joke.
Not Just A Shame, Another Symbolic Blow
Ukrainian officials also echoed Zelensky’s comments amidst the Western chorus of public outrage on Russia’s UNSC chairmanship, calling the new tenure of Russia a “symbolic blow.”
Ukrainian Presidential Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak expressed disappointment on Twitter, saying that “on the holiday of one terror state, Iran – another terror state, Russia, begins to preside over the UN Security Council. It’s not just a shame. It is another symbolic blow to the rules-based system of international relations.”
On the same day of Russia taking charge of the UNSC, coinciding with April Fools’ Day worldwide celebrations, Yermak twitted on continuing Russian aggression with the same-day bombing of Avdiivka, which hit private residences, the shelling, including the killing of a five-month-old newborn.
In his latest Twitter post yesterday, the Ukraine official reported “Russia’s massive shelling of the city of Kostiantynivka with MLRS, both using cluster munitions,” damaging apartment buildings and leaving three casualties and six wounded as of the latest count.
“Russia may have scarred Ukrainian souls, but (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has not broken our will. Ukraine is determined to ensure that all the Russian invaders, from the top leaders who gave criminal orders to those who executed them, are brought to justice for the crimes committed in our country.” Yermak further added.
For his part, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also showed disappointment in Russia assuming the UNSC presidency, outraged that the event was “a slap in the face to the international community.”
He called on UNSC member countries to be vigilant against any Russian attempts to abuse its chairmanship and to thwart Russia’s abusive exercise of power, whom he labeled “an outlaw of the UNSC.”
Kuleba lashed out at the UNSC, with its recent gesture, as a “stark reminder that something is wrong with the way international security architecture is functioning.”
Ukraine’s UN Permanent Representative Sergiy Kyslytsya commented that the international body “is taking the level of absurdity to a whole new level.”
Moscow last presided over UNSC in February 2022, the same month as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prompting Kyiv to demand Russia’s expulsion from the council.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will preside over a UNSC meeting on April 25, a debate on the Middle East to discuss “effective multilateralism.”
Global Criticism Of Russia as new UNSC Chair
US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressed her disappointment about the Russian assumption of chairmanship, doubting that Russia will be on its best behavior.
Thomas-Greenfield said that US sentiments on this UNSC takeover include Russia as expected to “seek opportunities to advance disinformation campaign against Ukraine, the United States and all of our allies.”
Considering all the Russian “war crimes and human rights violations,” we will raise our concerns about Russia’s actions at every opportunity,” she added.
White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre also criticized the new UNSC chairmanship, saying that “a country that flagrantly violates the UN Charter and invades its neighbor has no place on the UN Security Council.
Unfortunately, Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council, and no feasible international legal pathway exists to change that reality, Jean-Pierre pointed out.
Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, for its part, tweeted, “Russia, waging a brutal war against Ukraine, can only lead #InsecurityCouncil.”
Meanwhile, the country’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis wrote that he is “looking forward to some energetic discussions on Ukraine’s proposal for the destination of your warships.”
However, UN Director of the International Crisis Group Richard Gowan assuaged the public outrage over Moscow’s UNSC Chairmanship by saying, “we shouldn’t overestimate the importance of Russia having the presidency.”
“The presidency is largely a procedural, functional job. It’s about convening meetings, it’s about shuffling paper. I can understand that to many people, especially people in Ukraine, it seems pretty grotesque that Russia is presiding over the security council in the current situation. But I actually don’t think that it gives Moscow a significant platform to do much diplomatic damage to the Ukrainians.”
Sanctions For Accomplices Of Russian Aggression
Zelensky, in his official statement, underscored that government sanctions are underway against those working on the side of the Russian aggression, totaling more than 650 newly sanctioned individuals, including Russian officials, Russia’s defense industry, and hundreds of company collaborators helping perpetuate the ongoing war in Ukraine. ,
“No one will escape liability, (including) those who help terrorists, work for them, supply or manufacture weapons for terror. The blocking of accomplices of terror, the isolation of the terrorist state, its defeat, and trials — (these) await all those who started and are waging war against Ukraine and the international order,” said Zelensky.
“This crime committed by Russia is one of the most cynical and anti-human crimes of our time. Russia commits it systematically and calculates it, at the state level. Accountability for it will be
systemic too. Accountability of Russia (is in order) as a state and everyone involved.”
Positive News With Ukraine Allies’ Foreign Aid Assistance
Zelensky underscored recent positive developments in Ukraine’s current situation, including approving the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) four-year $15.6 billion loan program for Ukraine, part of its $115 billion economic assistance package.
According to the fund, the IMF’s immediate disbursement of approximately $2.7 billion to Kyiv requires Ukraine to implement ambitious reforms, particularly in the energy sector.
The Ukrainian President expressed gratitude to its growing number of allies, the latest of which is France, following his recent meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on implementing the Ukrainian Peace Formula. “Thank you, France, for your unwavering support,” Zelensky said.
He also thanked Switzerland for its recent “relevant decisions” and for taking “a clear moral position towards Russian terror, and towards Russia’s destruction of the global order based on rules.”
Zelensky further stressed that “only in unity can we preserve peace as the basis of international relations.”
The Ukrainian leader further expressed gratitude for other countries supporting Ukraine with their continued foreign aid assistance.
“Thanks to Germany for the new steps in defense support that were taken this week. Thanks to Croatia for another defense support package. Thanks to North Macedonia for the decision on helicopters. Thanks to Slovakia, Slovenia. Thank you to Canada for the financial support, the funds have already arrived in the state budget of Ukraine. Thanks to the IMF for the new programme for Ukraine. The programme is approved. The size is more than $15 billion. This will help us preserve social stability. “