Russia in charge of the UN Security Council

Russia took over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council on 1 April. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described this as a "slap in the face to the international community". Europe’s press also denounces the fact that Russia, as a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power, has such a strong position in the UN. What, if anything, can be done?

Der Tagesspiegel (DE) /

Moscow’s status is not inviolable

Ejection from the Security Council would send the right signal, writes the Tagesspiegel:

“Whether it would be possible? The international community has to want it. After all, Russia can be questioned as a member — with the argument that it was never really elected into the body. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia simply claimed this seat for itself — without encountering international opposition. A dubious status. And one that should not be sacrosanct in the United Nations. ... The country is ultimately acting against world peace and against its obligations as a permanent member of this body.”

Stephan-Andreas Casdorff
Delfi (LT) /

United Nations just fiction

Delfi sees no hope of change:

“The UN is a victim of the West’s post-war naivety, which has led to the rights of aggressors being put on a par with or even placed above those of their victims. Moscow was expelled from the League of Nations after the attack on Finland [1939/40]. After attacking Ukraine and committing thousands of war crimes, it has now taken over the presidency of the UN Security Council. The UN has become a fiction. A fiction that everyone has to live with because the dictators who are on the drip of Russia and China will never agree to reform.”

Rimvydas Valatka
Polityka (PL) /

Still a forum for direct exchange

Although the UN Security Council has clear limitations it continues to serve a purpose, Polityka points out:

“The balance of power created in the 1940s has repeatedly lagged behind changing international realities. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has once again revealed this detachment from reality and highlighted the Security Council’s greatest weakness: the impunity of a permanent member that violates the UN Charter. ... But one can also view things from a different angle. ... Direct contact generally has a calming effect. After all, the Security Council is a permanent forum in which the most powerful states meet regularly, whether they like it or not.”

Joanna Weschler