Putin facing efforts to isolate him diplomatically as punishment for Ukraine invasion

An effort is under way to isolate Vladimir Putin diplomatically by challenging Russia’s right to a permanent seat of the UN security council on the grounds that Russia took the seat from the defunct Soviet Union in 1991 without proper authorisation.

Diplomats are also looking to see if there is a basis for removing Russia from the presidency of the council.

The presidency rotates monthly between the 15 members of the security council, allowing the office holder to shape its monthly agenda and to chair its meetings.

The Russian envoy Vassily Nebenzias was chairing an emergency meeting of the Security Council in New York on Wednesday night as Putin announced his assault on Ukraine. Nebenzias started reading out a text sent to his phone by the Kremlin justifying the attack. He maintained the fiction that an invasion was not under way but instead a special military operation had begun in the Donbas.

Most council members condemned Russia, one of the five permanent security council members, with the UN secretary general António Guterres taking the rare step of accusing Russia of being in breach of the UN charter.

A draft security council motion, condemning Russia and calling for its unconditional withdrawal, is being negotiated behind the scenes in New York and will probably be debated on Friday, but Russia as a permanent member will use its veto.

The Ukrainian ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, told Wednesday night’s meeting that article 4 of the UN charter says the UN is open only to peace-loving states that accept the terms of the charter. He said Russia’s actions showed it could not comply with those terms.

Why has Putin’s Russia waged war on Ukraine? – video explainer
Why has Putin’s Russia waged war on Ukraine? – video explainer

But he also asked Guterres to distribute to the security council the legal memos written by UN legal counsel dated 19 December 1991 that the Russian Federation be permitted to join the security council as the successor to the Soviet Union. Ukraine claims the constituent republics of the…

Read full story at the guardian.com

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