Russia has a serious sanctions problem on its hands: The illegal and unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine has stirred the international community into action. The U.S. and the European Union have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow over the invasion.
Kick Putin Out of the Security Council
Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to the United Nations Security Council. He condemned the Russian invasion and the war crimes that Russian troops are committing in his country. To punish Russia, Zelensky said, the United Nations ought to kick it from its Security Council.
“What is the point of all other Articles? Are you ready to close the United Nations? Do you think that the time for international law is gone?” Zelensky asked the members of the U.N. Security Council.
He went on and urged them to act immediately by removing Russia from the Security Council so it can’t block decisions made about the war, which is, after all, Putin’s war. If the United Nations can’t do that but is only capable of debates, Zelensky said, then they should dissolve the organization.
“Ukraine needs peace. Europe needs peace. The world needs peace,” Zelensky said.
All 193 members of the United Nations are bound to accept and carry out any decisions made by the Security Council, which is the most powerful body in the organization. Whereas other organs of the United Nations can only make recommendations to members, the United Nations Security Council can make decisions that the other members must follow.
The United Nations Security Council is comprised of five nations (France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.) with a permanent seat and was created in the aftermath of the Second World War.
Human Rights Suspension
Russia has already been suspended (and then voluntarily quit) from the United Nations Human Rights Council after a vote last week.
“I applaud the overwhelming vote today in the General Assembly of the United Nations to kick Russia off the U.N. Human Rights Council. This is a meaningful step by the international community further demonstrating how Putin’s war has made Russia an international pariah,” President Joe Biden said in a press statement following the U.N. vote.
Zelensky also brought up the issue of Russian war crimes during his speech to the Security Council. He asked that Russian policymakers and military officers who have given orders or have enabled war crimes in Ukraine be charged and punished in a tribunal similar to the one created by the Allies in Nuremberg after the Second World War.
“The United States worked closely with our Allies and partners around the world to drive this vote because Russia is committing gross and systemic violations of human rights. Russian forces are committing war crimes. Russia has no place on the Human Rights Council. After today’s historic vote, Russia will not be able to participate in the Council’s work or spread its disinformation there as the Council’s Commission of Inquiry investigates Russia’s violations and abuses of human rights in Ukraine,” Biden added.
1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.