(March 9) Faced with continuing atrocities perpetrated at the command of dictator Vladimir Putin, the United Nations ought to take the Ukrainian ambassador’s advice: expel Russia from the Security Council and suspend it from the organization as a whole.

As the war began three weeks ago, those were the suggestions by Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.N. He argued that Security Council membership, which provides Russia a veto over U.N. collective action, was never transmitted to Russia from the old Soviet Union. He said Russia’s warring aggression puts it in violation of the U.N. Charter, making it no longer a “legitimate” member of the whole body.

Even those of us with no admiration for the U.N. and little appreciation for its legal intricacies should see the ambassador’s claims are at least plausible and certainly well within the spirit of the U.N.’s mission. The very first line of its “Purposes and Principles” proclaims its devotion “to maintain[ing] international peace and security,” and, from the Preamble, to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” The Principles denounce all actions that violate “the territorial integrity” of any nation.

Wise diplomats will take the opportunity, when it arises, to use to positive effect even an oft-useless (and sometimes counterproductive) organization.

The goal here is not to get bogged down in technicalities. The objective is to isolate Russia. Putin’s Russia is already de facto an international pariah. Let’s make it official. Every signal should be sent, every step taken, to make clear Russia is not just fighting Ukraine and not just at odds with the nations of NATO. Instead, its criminal and crime-filled invasion of Ukraine is opposed by virtually the entire world.

Information matters. Messages matter. Truth matters.

First, while the bloodthirsty Putin may not care, a number of his generals and oligarchs actually may be aghast to find Russia so outcast — and not just by European nations that control significant international financing but also by the nations of the world acting as one….. [The full column is at this link.]


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