Russia’s Sergei Lavrov will CHAIR UN Security Council meeting in New York in April
- Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will chair meeting next month at UNSC meeting
- Russia will hold the rotating presidency of the international body in April
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will chair the UN Security Council meeting in New York in April – despite Moscow being at war with Ukraine.
Moscow said Lavrov will chair the meeting next month when Russia will hold the rotating presidency of the international body.
Ukraine has called for Russia to be removed from Security Council over the military operation launched in February last year and condemned its presidency next month as a ‘bad joke’.
‘Another key event of the Russian presidency (of the Security Council) will be a high-level open debate on the ‘effective multilateralism through the defence of the principles of the UN Charter’,’ ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a press briefing. ‘This meeting will be chaired by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.’
Last month, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Moscow was planning to hold a meeting of the UN Security council on what he said is the ‘real situation’ of Ukrainian children deported to Russia.
This is an issue that came to the fore following the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin for war crimes related to their abduction.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will chair the UN Security Council meeting in New York in April – despite Moscow being at war with Ukraine
The ICC called for Putin’s arrest as the court accused the despot of unlawfully abducting Ukrainian children from their homes and deporting them to Russia to be given to Russian families. Pictured: Ukrainian children onboard a train from Ukraine’s Donbas region to Russia on February 22, 2022
The court said it was seeking Putin’s arrest because he ‘is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of (children) and that of unlawful transfer of (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.’
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Since Putin launched the invasion more than a year ago, Russians have been accused of deporting Ukrainian children to Russia or Russian-held territories to raise them as their own.
At least 1,000 children were seized from schools and orphanages in the Kherson region during Russia’s eight-month occupation of the area, local authorities say. Their whereabouts are still unknown.
Nebenzia called the issue of the children ‘totally overblown’ and said Moscow wants to explain at the Security Council meeting, around April 6, that they were taken to Russia ‘simply because we wanted to spare them of the danger that military activities may bring.’
Nebenzia was asked whether Russia planned on returning the children. ‘When conditions are safe, of course. Why not?’ the Russian envoy replied.
Ukraine earlier criticised the upcoming change in presidency at the UN Security Council.
‘Russian UN Security Council presidency on April 1 is a bad joke,’ Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
“Russia has usurped its seat; it’s waging a colonial war; its leader is a war criminal wanted by the ICC for kidnapping children,” Kuleba said.
The presidency rotates every month between the 15 member states. Russia last chaired the council in February 2022.
Russia would hold little influence on the decisions but would be in charge of setting the agenda of the international body.
Russia claims that the Ukrainian children don’t have parents or guardians to look after them, or that they can’t be reached.
But it has emerged that officials have deported Ukrainian children to Russia or Russian-held territories without consent, lied to them that they weren’t wanted by their parents, used them for propaganda, and given them Russian families and citizenship.
Whether or not they have parents, raising the children of war in another country or culture can be a marker of genocide, an attempt to erase the very identity of an enemy nation. Prosecutors say it also can be tied directly to Putin, who has explicitly supported the adoptions.
Ukrainian soldiers of the 28th brigade walk together at their position on the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Monday, March 27, 2023
Ukrainian soldiers of the 28th brigade fire a mortar at Russian positions on the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Monday, March 27, 2023
Meanwhile, Russian forces are ‘getting hammered’ in the battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut in fighting described as a ‘slaughter-fest’ by senior US officials.
Chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff General Mark Milley told lawmakers late last night: ‘The Russians have not made any progress whatsoever in and around Bakhmut.
‘It’s a slaughter-fest for the Russians. They’re getting hammered in the vicinity of Bakhmut and the Ukrainians have fought very very well.’
But Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, have admitted in recent days that Russian troops managed to gain some ground, despite having suffered horrendous losses.
‘Enemy forces had a degree of success in their actions aimed at storming the city of Bakhmut,’ the General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said in a regular report late on Wednesday.
‘Our defenders are holding the city and are repelling numerous enemy attacks.’
The mining city of Bakhmut and surrounding towns in the eastern industrial region of Donetsk have been the focal point of assault for much of Russia’s 13-month-long invasion of Ukraine.
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