Zelenskiy says Russian UN Security Council presidency is absurd

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits positions of Ukrainian Border Guards near the border with Russia, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Sumy region, Ukraine March 28, 2023.—Reuters

KYIV: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday said it was absurd Russia had assumed the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council, adding this showed the institution’s “total bankruptcy”.

On Saturday Russia took over the presidency of the U.N.’s top security body, which rotates every month. The last time Moscow held the post was in February 2022, when its troops launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, we … have some absurd and destructive news,” Zelenskiy said in an evening video address, adding that Russian shelling had killed a five-month-old boy on Friday.

“And at the same time, Russia is chairing the U.N. Security Council. It’s hard to imagine anything that proves more the total bankruptcy of such institutions,” he said.

The Kremlin said on Friday it planned to “exercise all its rights” in the role.

The United States on Thursday urged Russia to “conduct itself professionally” when it assumes the role, saying there were no means to block Moscow from the post.

Zelenskiy said it was time for a general overhaul of global institutions, including the Security Council.

“Reform is necessary to prevent a terrorist state – and any other state that wants to be a terrorist – from destroying the peace,” he said.

Earlier, Zelenskiy advisor Andriy Yermak also hit out at Iran, which Kyiv and its allies accuse of supplying Russia with arms. Tehran denies it is giving weapons to Russia.

“It is very telling that on the holiday of one terror state – Iran – another terror state – Russia – begins to preside over the U.N. Security Council,” Yermak wrote on Twitter, referring to Iran’s Islamic Republic Day holiday.

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