Russia-Ukraine conflict: Repeated UN Security Council meetings on Ukraine keep up pressure on Russia

UNITED NATIONS— The UN Security Council — which on Monday held a session on the plight of women and children in Ukraine — will hold another meeting next week on the humanitarian situation there, in a bid to keep pressure on Russia despite its veto power over the powerful body, diplomats said.

The new meeting, proposed by France and Mexico, will “focus on refugees, third-country nationals and human trafficking,” said a diplomat on condition of anonymity.

Monday’s meeting was proposed by the United States and Albania, with the latter country’s ambassador to the UN, Ferit Hoxha, announcing that that he and his UN partners would continue denouncing the Feb 24 invasion of Ukraine even if Moscow, “with its veto, has taken this Council hostage, preventing it (from) deliver(ing) security in Ukraine.”

Since the beginning of the war, the Security Council has held 15 meetings and the United Nations General Assembly has voted three times on the war, first condemning the invasion on March 2, then calling for the protection of civilians on March 24 and finally suspending Russia from the Human Rights Council on April 7.

Abandoning emergency meetings, even after massacres like the killings on Friday in Kramatorsk which left some 50 dead, the members of the Security Council who are leading the initiative on Ukraine have chosen instead to hold regular sessions on the war and to return to the issue of Ukraine at every opportunity, according to several diplomats.

Some of their counterparts however believe that pushing Russia even further into isolation would be counterproductive, the diplomats said, or that too many sanctions might kill any hope for multilateralism, and argue that the Council should do diplomacy and not become a place for public relations.

When Russia was removed from the Human Rights Council in the General Assembly, a minority of six out of the Security Council’s 15 members — the United States, Britian, France, Ireland, Norway and Albania — voted in favor.

Three were against –Russia, China and Gabon — and six abstained: India, Brazil, Kenya, Ghana, Mexico, United Arab Emirates.