On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized Russia for taking over the rotating UN Security Council president and said that this demonstrated the organization’s “total bankruptcy.”
The presidency of the United Nations’ top security body is rotated each month, and Russia assumed that role on Saturday. In February 2022, when its forces started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Moscow last held the position.
Zelenskyy said in a video address that evening that “unfortunately, we … have some obviously absurd and destructive news,” adding that a five-month-old boy had been killed by Russian bombardment on Friday.
“And at the same time Russia is chairing the U.N. Security Council. It’s hard to imagine anything that proves more the total bankruptcy of such institutions,” he said.
On Friday, the Kremlin declared that it intended to “exercise all its rights” in the role.
On Thursday, the United States encouraged Russia to “conduct itself professionally” when it takes on the position and said there was no way to prevent Moscow from taking on the role.
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Zelenskyy declared that the Security Council and other international institutions needed a general overhaul.
“Reform is obviously necessary to prevent a terrorist state – and any other state that wants to be a terrorist – from destroying the peace,” he said.
Earlier, Zelenskyy adviser Andriy Yermak also criticized Iran, which Kyiv and its allies accused of supplying Moscow with weapons. Iran denies supplying Russia with weapons.
“It is very telling that on the holiday of one terror state – Iran – another terror state – Russia – begins to preside over the U.N. Security Council,” Yermak wrote on Twitter, referring to Iran’s Islamic Republic Day holiday.