It was a heated morning at the UN Security Council, with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy calling out the body for its inability to end the war in his country.
“Ukrainian soldiers now are doing at the expense of their blood what the UN Security Council should do by its voting. They’re stopping Russia and upholding the principles of the UN Charter,” he said at the session.
Zelenskyy called for major reforms to the Security Council, namely suspending members who are aggressors and taking away Russia’s veto power as a permanent member.
“Anyone who wants to start a war should see before their fatal mistake what exactly they will lose when the war would start,” he said.
The Ukrainian leader also called for the expansion of the council — as many leaders have — to add Germany and countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Russia tried to delay Zelenskyy’s speech, arguing he should not be able to speak before members of the council.
In response, the prime minister of Albania, which heads the Security Council this month, told the Russian ambassador to stop his country’s war in Ukraine. Only then Zelenskyy would not speak first.
“You stop the war, and President Zelensky will not take the floor,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken again said Russia is violating the UN Charter, committing war crimes and tearing families apart.
Blinken says more than 40 countries are reading into Zelenskyy’s 10-point plan for ending the war, while Russia has put nothing forward.
“We will stand up, not stand by when the rules that we all agreed to are challenged,” Blinken said.
Blinken brushed off criticism that the Security Council can’t address other issues while focusing on this war.
“We can do both. We must do both. We are doing both,” he said.
The Russians also brushed off any criticism, blaming the West for getting involved in not only the war, but according to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, hand-picking Ukrainian politicians, as well.