Ukraine is moving to get Russia kicked out of the United Nations, claiming the country has been an illegitimate member since “illegally” taking the spot of the collapsed Soviet Union 31 years ago.
The Russian Federation is a dominant member of the UN, with veto power and a permanent seat on its Security Council. When the Soviet Union, a founding UN member, dissolved in 1991, Russia sidestepped the normal process for new members and quickly took its place.
In a statement, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said Russia isn’t a true UN member because it hasn’t gone through the proper process to join. And since Russia has increasingly violated the “peace-loving” spirit of the UN – particularly amid its ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine – now is the time to kick it out, the statement said.
The Foreign Ministry said it’s launching a “complex process” to “deprive the Russian Federation of its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and to exclude it from the UN as a whole.”
Among many reasons listed for Russia’s removal are the Ukraine invasion and ensuing war crimes; “fueling instability” across the former Soviet Union and Africa; and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Russia’s “abuse” of Security Council veto power is also highlighted. Russia has cast 32 vetos since 1991, more than any other country, according to the UN – most recently to kill a resolution condemning its annexation of four Ukrainian provinces.
No member country has ever been expelled from the UN. The process for doing so requires action from the Security Council, which Russia has the power to unilaterally veto.
The Foreign Ministry’s announcement is an escalation of efforts to isolate Russia from global power. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for Russia to lose its permanent Security Council seat multiple times since the invasion began in February, as reported by The Hill.
Ukraine was a founding member of the UN, joining as a republic of the Soviet Union. Like Russia, it did not go through a formal new-member process after the fall of the Soviet Union — the UN simply states that it changed its name.