Ukraine campaigns to strip Russia of UN veto power
Ukraine redoubled its efforts Wednesday to see Russia stripped of its veto power on the UN Security Council when the global body's General Assembly meets in the coming weeks.
Numerous nations are upset with Russia for being one of the five permanent council members that together with China has blocked a series of UN efforts to impose sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
But Ukraine is especially angry that Moscow has also shot down UN attempts to condemn what Kiev views as Russia's "aggression" in its separatist industrial east.
Russia views Ukraine's 17-month crisis in which nearly 8,000 have died as a "civil war" in which it has played no role.
The United States along with Britain and France -- the other three veto-wielding members and strong supporters of Ukraine's new pro-Western leadership -- have refrained from openly backing such a drastic measure against Russia and the increasingly unpredictable President Vladimir Putin.
Ukraine's parliament Wednesday unanimously voted in favour of a recommendation for the council to strip Moscow of its right to block UN resolutions in cases when "conflicts grow especially fierce".
Kiev's UN envoy Yuriy Sergeyev tweeted that 67 of the General Assembly's 193 members have already supported the move.
Moscow swiftly dismissed the proposal and denounced Kiev's push to expand veto rights to the other 10 non-permanent Security Council members.
Ukraine hopes to be elected as one of the new rotating Council members at a vote in New York scheduled for October 15.
"We stand in favour of preserving (veto) rights for the five permanent Security Council members," Russia's RIA Novosti state news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying.
Gatilov called discussions about allowing the other 10 Council members the right to block resolution "premature".
© 2015 AFP