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Ukraine furious over Russia’s presidency of the UN Security Council News

KIEV, April 1 (Reuters) – Russia, whose leader is accused of war crimes, took office on the United Nations Security Council on Saturday causing a furor in Ukraine, with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy calling it absurd and destructive.

The last time Russia held the rotating presidency of the body responsible for maintaining peace and combating acts of international aggression was in February 2022, when Moscow troops launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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

“And at the same time Russia presides over the UN Security Council. It’s hard to imagine anything more proving the total bankruptcy of such institutions,” he said.

The presidency rotates alphabetically each month among the 15 members. Although largely procedural, Kremlin and other Russian officials have pledged to “exercise all their rights” on paper.

The United States on Thursday urged Russia to “behave professionally” when it takes office, saying there was no way to block Moscow from the post.

In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC), an international justice body not associated with the UN, issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin and his commissioner for children’s rights, charging them with the war crime of illegally deporting to hundreds of children from Ukraine. .

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Russia’s presidency of the Security Council a “slap in the face to the international community.” Zelenskiy said it was time for a general review of global institutions, including the Security Council.

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

Some 400 days after the war, which killed thousands, destroyed Ukrainian cities and caused millions of civilians to flee, Russia continues to seize parts of the country, pressing its assault on the east.

Earlier, Zelenskiy’s adviser Andriy Yermak also criticized Iran, which kyiv and its allies accuse of supplying Russia with weapons. Tehran denies that it is supplying weapons to Russia.

“It is very revealing that on the holiday of one terrorist state, Iran, another terrorist state, Russia, begins to preside over the UN Security Council,” Yermak wrote on Twitter, referring to the Islamic Republic of Iran Day holiday.

Reporting by Max Hunder, David Ljunggren, Nick Starkov, and Lidia Kelly; Edited by Giles Elgood, Daniel Wallis and Franklin Paul

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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