Ukraine Joins Russia on UN Security Council

John Moore/Getty Images
John Moore/Getty Images

Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Uruguay, and Ukraine have received a non-permanent spot on the United Nations Security Council.

The five nations will replace Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, and Nigeria on January 1. The only permanent nations on the council with veto powers are Britain, China, France, U.S., and Russia.

For almost 20 months, Russia has waged a war in eastern Ukraine and annexed Crimea after Parliament ousted Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014. Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said Kiev’s attitude towards Russia is “definitely not conciliatory,” but remains optimistic.

“Election to the Security Council is of special importance for us as a backdrop of the ongoing Russian aggression,” he said. “For the first time, we have an absolutely unique and unimaginable situation … that a permanent member of the Security Council is an aggressor in Ukraine, waging a hybrid war against Ukraine.”

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin did not explain how the Kremlin plans to “interact with Ukraine.” Russia’s ability to veto has led the council into more than 30 deadlocked meetings since the annexation of Crimea. They also vetoed to hinder a proper investigation into the attack on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which crashed into east Ukraine and killed all 298 people on board.

President Petro Poroshenko hopes the appointment will bring peace to Ukraine and reunite Kiev with “territories occupied by Russia.”

“I sincerely congratulate the Ukrainian people on this international and diplomatic achievement of Ukraine,” he stated. “I have no doubt that it will help us to bring about the long-awaited peace, will contribute to the restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty over all the territories occupied by Russia both in the Donbas and Crimea.”

He continued:

This time the victory is especially valuable, because we achieved it in a situation when the world stands before the most difficult challenges of recent decades. Ukraine has become the object of foreign aggression and part of our territory is occupied by Russia, which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. A key mission of our membership in the Security Council will be to resolutely uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, developed with the participation of Ukraine even 70 years ago. I am talking about the absolute and eternal values, which are the basis of our world order – the peaceful settlement of conflicts, respect for the principles of justice and international law.

This is Japan’s eleventh time on the council, but it has in the past pushed to land a permanent spot. The Japanese hope to resolve its “island dispute with China” and “raise concerns about” North Korea. China, one of the hermit kingdom’s lone allies, blocked talks about human rights in December.

Senegal is one of the only stable governments in Africa, but citizens continue to flee due to “high unemployment and lack of opportunity for economic growth.” But they have avoided the intense radical Islamic growth in neighboring countries and corrupt leaders, who seek to edit Constitutions to expand their power. Uruguay is a small country that has had an outsized role in peacemaking in recent months, brokering talks between the leaders of Venezuela and Colombia over Venezuela’s illegal mass deportations of Colombian nationals.

They join the other non-permanent members: Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, and Venezuela.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.