Ukraine issued an official statement on Monday announcing its initiative to deprive Russia of its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and to exclude it from the UN.
“Ukraine calls on the member states of the UN to resume the application of the UN Charter in the context of the legitimacy of the Russian Federation’s presence in the UN, to deprive the Russian Federation of its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and to exclude it from the UN as a whole,” a statement by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry read.
The statement said the issue of the status of Russia’s membership to the UN and its permanent membership to the UN Security Council remains “unsettled” from “the point of view of international law.”
“The Russian Federation took over the seat of a permanent member of the UN Security Council bypassing the procedures defined by the UN Charter. This happened on the basis of an ordinary letter from the President of the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) Boris Yeltsin, addressed to the UN Secretary General, which was sent on Dec. 24, 31 years ago,” the statement further said.
The statement also referred to Article 4 of the UN Charter, which it said stipulates that “the admission of peace-loving states to membership in the UN is affected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council, and only in this way.”
“The Russian Federation has never gone through the legal procedure to be admitted to membership and, therefore, illegally occupies the seat of the Soviet Union in the UN Security Council. From a legal and political point of view, there can be only one conclusion: Russia is an usurper of the Soviet Union’s seat in the UN Security Council,” the statement claimed.
It also argued that Russia failed to meet the main criteria for membership in the UN, referring to the first paragraph of Article 4 of the UN Charter which it noted that “membership in the UN is open to all peace-loving states.”
“The actions of the Russian Federation are contrary to the concept of a ‘peace-loving’ state. Three decades of its illegal presence in the UN have been marked by wars and seizure of other countries’ territories, forceful change of internationally recognized borders, and attempts to satisfy its invasive and neo-imperial ambitions,” the statement added.
It further touched on Russia’s launch of its “special military operation” on Feb. 24, adding that Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, as well as the recent annexation of the Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, and Kherson regions, are a “violation of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of Ukraine.”
“We believe that, guided by the principle of equality of UN members, the Russian Federation should follow the same international legal path for admission to membership in the organization as other countries did. … The return of the Russian Federation to the UN in the future can be considered only if it complies with the criteria for UN membership,” it said.
It added that Russia should be admitted to UN membership only after it “fulfills the conditions for membership in the organization” and “upon the recommendation of the UN Security Council, as provided for in Paragraph 2 of Article 4 of the UN Charter.”
Last Tuesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kyiv is preparing to take official steps to prove that Russia’s presence in the UN Security Council is “illegal” and to have it removed from the body.
On Dec. 14, two US lawmakers introduced a resolution to oust Russia from the UN Security Council, saying Russia’s presence there “violates the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”