Ukraine Asks United Nations to Kick Russia Out

During an acrimonious overnight U.N. Security Council (UNSC) emergency session in which the Ukrainian ambassador literally told his Russian counterpart to go to Hell, Ukraine made an ambitious effort to have Russia ejected from the United Nations entirely by arguing that Vladimir Putin’s government did not legally acquire the seat formerly held by the Soviet Union.

Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya glumly began his presentation to the Security Council by noting that most of his prepared remarks became “useless” at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time, when Russia launched an unprovoked attack against his country.

Kyslytsya then read a passage from Article IV of the U.N. charter, which says: “Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.”

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“Russia is not able to carry out any of the obligations,” he contended.

“The ambassador of the Russian Federation, three minutes ago, confirmed that his president declared a war on my country,” he noted. “So now I would like to ask the ambassador of the Russian Federation to say, on the record, that at this very moment your troops do not shell and bomb Ukrainian cities, that your troops do not move into territory of Ukraine.”

“You have a smartphone. You can call Lavrov right now. We can take a pause to let you go out and call him,” Kyslytsya needled Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, mocking Nebenzya’s earlier comment that he did not know exactly what was happening in Ukraine. “Lavrov” would be Nebenzya’s boss, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“If you are not in a position to give an affirmative answer, the Russian Federation ought to relinquish the responsibilities of the President of the Security Council, pass these responsibilities on to a legitimate member of the Security Council – a member that is respectful of the Charter,” Kyslytsya said. 

Russia assumed the rotating presidency of the Security Council in February, producing the bizarre spectacle of an aggressor nation presiding over UNSC emergency sessions convened to debate a response to its unlawful aggression.

“I ask the members of the Security Council to convene an emergency meeting immediately and consider all necessary job decisions to stop the war,” Kyslytsya said.

Kyslytsya went even further than asking the Security Council to kick Russia out of its rotating presidency, proceeding to challenge the right of Putin’s government to sit in the United Nations at all.

Kyslytsya asked U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to distribute copies of “the legal memos, by the legal counsel of the United Nations, dated December 1991 – and in particular the legal memo dated the 19th of December, 1991.” He said Ukraine has been demanding to see copies of this paperwork for some time, to no avail.

Kyslytsya then turned to the second paragraph of Article IV of the U.N. Charter: “The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”

“Mr. Secretary-General, please instruct the Secretariat to distribute among the members of the Security Council, and the members of the General Assembly, a decision by the Security Council dated December 1991 that recommends that the Russian Federation can be a member of this organization, as well as a decision by the General Assembly dated December 1991 where the General Assembly welcomes the Russian Federation to this organization,” he asked.

Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya speaks after the United Nations security council’s emergency meeting to discuss the threat of a full-scale invasion by Russia of Ukraine on February 23, 2022 in New York City. The Kremlin shared that two breakaway regions of Ukraine have requested protection. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

“It would be a miracle if the Secretariat was able to produce such decisions,” Kyslytsya said flatly.

“There is nothing in the Charter of the United Nations about continuity as a sneaky way to get into the organization,” he declared.

There followed a verbal scuffle between Kyslytsya and Nebenzya in which the Ukrainian ambassador repeated his demand for UNSC to strip Russia of the presidency.

“There is no purgatory for war criminals. They go straight to Hell, Ambassador,” Kyslytsya heatedly told his Russian counterpart.


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