Russia dismisses French attempt to limit veto power at UN

Russian ambassador to UN says his country will oppose any attempt to limit Russia’s veto power at UN Security Council

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Security Council: September 2015 Monthly Forecast

Russian envoy to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Wednesday his country will oppose any proposal to limit its usage of veto right at the UN Security Council.

Lately, France has been lobbying for a new agreement at the Security Council in order to limit Russian veto power, a move the Russian ambassador calls “populist” approach.

Churkin, whose delegation holds the September presidency at the council, dismissed the French preparations for the possible bill.

The Security Council is one of the six main organs established under the UN Charter. It is organised in such a way that it can function continuously, and a representative of each of its members must be present at all times at UN Headquarters.

The Council consists of 15 members, five of these are permanent - the US, Russia, Britain, China, France -. The General Assembly appoints another 10 members who are non-permanent members for a two-year term. If one of the permanent members vetoes a draft, it cannot be admitted.

The French proposal inevitably gained ground in the minds of the other member states except for China which is a strong ally of Russia, after the two states have showed their objections to the solutions of the crisis in Syria and eastern Ukraine, Crimea.

Russia, together with China, vetoed 20 UN Security Council resolutions since 1974 and seven of the vetoed resolutions have taken place in the last four years, since 2011, according to data by the UN.

The six of them belong to the crisis in Syria where at least 240,000 people have been killed, and in Ukraine where nearly 6,900 killed, UN data estimates.


Crimea was annexed by Russia in March 2014 following a referendum organised by the peninsula’s autonomous authorities, in which the majority ethnically of Russian population voted to join Russia just weeks after the same authorities declared independence from Ukraine.

The referendum, which was organised almost immediately after Ukraine’s former pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych abandoned his post amid pro-EU protests in Kiev, was condemned by the international community as illegal, especially as it was held under the threatening presence of armed militiamen in unmarked uniforms - believed to be Russian soldiers -  who occupied Crimea shortly after Yanukovych's demise.

The Crimean Tatars have since been under pressure from the peninsula’s new Russian authorities to accept the annexation, with those who have refused to adopt Russian citizenship, becoming foreigners in their homeland.

Even though the UN Security Council intended to take actions against the referendum, Russia blocked the resolution and crisis further escalated the tension in the region, leading to the deaths of nearly 6,900 people and 16,000 wounded during more than 15 months of fierce fightings between Kiev army and the separatist rebels in Ukraine.

Strong Russian objections against any resolution have been standing in the way of a possible solution for the crisis in Syria which killed hundreds of thousands of people since it broke out in 2011.

Russia has vetoed four resolutions against Syrian regime and denied investigations over alleged human rights violations and violence in the country since 2011, according to data by the UN.

The violence has been going on in the country and continue claiming lives of civilians, including children.


TRTWorld and agencies