Ukraine has called for reform of the United Nations Security Council’s structure to prevent Russia from using its veto power on the council to obstruct actions involving the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
“We need urgently to reform the Security Council in order to remove the veto power abuses,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, who chaired a meeting of the council on unresolved conflicts in Europe on February 21.
A provision of the council’s charter requires that “a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting” when the council acts, but it has been “blatantly ignored,” he said.
Russia used its power, for example, to block an initiative to set up an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for downing Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2015 over the war zone in eastern Ukraine, killing hundreds of people.
The council should be able to address “bloody conflicts” regardless of whether one of the parties involved is a permanent council member with veto power, Klimkin said.
“It is imperative that clear proceedings are introduced for the proper implementation” of the council’s abstention requirement, he said.
Russia, which maintains that it has no troops in Ukraine despite evidence to the contrary, has previously rejected as unacceptable any curbs on its veto power.