Will Russia Be Removed From the UN Security Council?

Russia, which is a permanent member of the council, has exercised its veto to block UN action to stop and condemn Putin's attack on Ukraine

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Ukraine's president has accused the U.N.'s most powerful body of not carrying out its mission of peace and security due to Russia’s veto power on the Security Council. But will it lead to any significant change?

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the Security Council Tuesday to remove Russia "so it can not block decisions about its own aggression," or "dissolve" themselves altogether if they are unable to hold Moscow accountable for war crimes.



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On Thursday, the United Nations suspended Russia from its seat on the Human Rights Council, whose members are expected which are expected to uphold high human rights standards. The country still holds its Security Council seat.

Harvard scholar Oleh Kotsyuba and Northeastern University professors Mai’a Cross and Pablo Calderon explained Wednesday whether Russia will be removed on NBC10 Boston's weekly series, "Russia-Ukraine Q&A."

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The Ukrainian leader made his plea via video as evidence continues to emerge of civilian massacres carried out by Russian forces on the outskirts of Kyiv before they pulled back from the capital.

Zelenskyy criticized the 15-nation group tasked with maintaining international peace for failing to "secure security." Russia, which is a permanent member of the council, has exercised its veto to block UN action to stop and condemn Putin's attack on Ukraine.

"The entire system of providing security in the post World War II era has basically collapsed," Kotsyuba said. "Several members have actually been themselves the perpetrators of violence and had used the instrument of the Security Council to block any possible action against themselves. And so the real the real challenge here is what to do with such a tool, such an organization that does not fulfill its mission anymore."

In an impassioned speech to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for the removal of Russia as a permanent member over allegations of war crimes. “Remove Russia… so it can not block decisions about its own aggression, its own war.”

Calderon agreed with Kotsyuba, adding that some could argue that the body never worked, and was merely a means of maintaining basic arrangements. The latest developments out of Ukraine sheds light on the "increasing irrelevance," of the Security Council, Calderon said, and the willingness of its members to continue to overlook security concerns in pursuit of their own goals.

"The Security Council hasn't been working for decades," Calderon said. "I don't think this is going to change the Security Council at all. I don't think there's an appetite from the permanent members of Security Council to change their arrangement, because why would there be? This isn't the first time that one of the permanent members has blocked the Security Council with their own means and to pursue their own agenda. It won't be the last."

The only option available, Calderon said, is to continue to support Ukrainian.

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