Ukraine expressed outrage as Russia assumed its month-long presidency of the UN Security Council on April 1.
Russia will have control of the Security Council’s agenda for the month for the first time since February 2022, when it invaded Ukraine.
The presidency of the UN Security Council rotates among its 15 members on a monthly basis. Russia is one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine violated the UN Charter, which requires states to refrain from using force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another state.
The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution days after the invasion began demanding that Russia immediately end its war in Ukraine. Russia blocked a similar resolution from passing in the Security Council.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Russia’s assumption of the presidency “a slap in the face to the international community.”
He urged other members of the UN Security Council to prevent Moscow from abusing its presidency.
Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, said that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will travel to the UN headquarters in New York on April 24 to hold a discussion on a “new world order.”
Lavrov will also hold a discussion on the Middle East on the following day.
Baltic nations joined Ukraine in expressing outrage over Russia’s assumption of the presidency.
Estonia’s UN envoy Rein Tammsaar, speaking also on behalf of Latvia and Lithuania, called it “shameful, humiliating and dangerous to the credibility and effective functioning of this body.”
In an interview with AFP on March 30, US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said she expected Russia to behave “professionally” in the presidency but cautioned it would also seek to “advance their disinformation campaign against Ukraine, the United States and all of our allies.”
With reporting by the AFP