Despite objections from Ukraine, Russia has taken up presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of April.
Unfortunately, it’s no joke.
The UN Security Council is charged with maintaining global peace and security.
Each of the council’s 15 members take up the presidency on a rotating basis. The last time Russia claimed its turn was February 2022, and Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described Russia assuming the council presidency on April 1 as its brutal invasion of Ukraine stretches into a second year as “the world’s worst April Fool’s joke.”
While the council president is supposed to remain neutral, Russia can maneuver meetings on Ukraine and use the month to portray the US and other Western countries as making false accusations against Russia.
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin last month, but the ICC is not a UN institution.
“Unfortunately, Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and no feasible international legal pathway exists to change that reality,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told a news briefing this week.
Russia is one of five nations permanently represented on the Security Council along with the UK, US, France, and China.
Russia’s presence as a permanent member on the Security Council means it can veto resolutions.
To pass a Security Council vote, there must be nine votes in favor, with none of the five permanent members voting against.