Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday Russia must lose its United Nations General Assembly veto power in order to end the war in Ukraine,, while urging fellow world leaders in attendance at the UNGA to assist Ukraine in its response to Russia’s ongoing attack.
Zelensky said removing Russia’s veto power was a “necessary step,” and noted that it would be impossible to stop the war “because all efforts are vetoed by the aggressor,” referring to Russia.
Ukraine’s president recommended an overhaul of the U.N. security council and said it was “unjust” for billions of people around the world not to have a permanent representative in the security council while Russia does.
Russia is one of five permanent members of the U.N. security council, giving it the power to veto any resolution including one that might call for a permanent member, such as Russia, to lose their veto power.
In his remarks, Zelensky also called on governments to back Ukraine’s 10-point peace plan—which includes demands for a full Russian withdrawal and reparations—which Russia has rejected and instead requested international recognition of annexation of Ukrainian territory.
“The goal of the present war against Ukraine is to turn our land, our people, our lives, our resources, into a weapon against you, against the international rules-based order,” Zelensky said during his remarks.
This is not the first time Zelensky has called on the U.N. to alter Russia’s position in the intergovernmental body. Last September, Zelensky made a similar plea saying, “a crime has been committed against Ukraine, and we demand punishment.” Similar to Wednesday’s remarks he recommended removing the right to vote and isolating the Russians until the aggression against Ukraine stops. Twelve months later and now 19 months into the war Zelensky re-upped the same demand Wednesday.
What To Watch For
Zelensky is scheduled to meet with President Joe Biden and the leaders of both chambers of Congress later this week.
Zelensky’s visit to Washington comes amid growing disagreement over the U.S.’s funding of the war in Ukraine. Biden has asked for an additional $24 billion in aid to be sent to help Ukraine stave off the Russians. A growing number of Republicans are skeptical of spending that much money and are threatening a government shutdown if the Democrats do not reduce the amount of money sent to Ukraine.