Minister to UN: Holding Russia to account should not be mere pipe dream

Margus Tsahkna at the UN meeting with Rosemary DiCarlo.
Margus Tsahkna at the UN meeting with Rosemary DiCarlo. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) says that in a situation where Russia is holding the UN Security Council hostage paralyzing its work, steps must be taken to remove that obstruction and restore the council's normal functioning.

"This means we need to reform the UN Security Council," Tsahkna said Thursday, adding that one of Estonia's priorities is to keep the international spotlight on Ukrainian children.

"Here, it is important that we can cooperate with other countries and organizations to make sure Ukrainian children get back home," he went on.

The aim of holding Russia's leadership to account cannot and must not be mere wishful thinking; instead, it requires us to take real and practical steps, the minister added.

Minister Tsahkna made his remarks in the context of a meeting in New York with UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, which focused on the creation of an international tribunal to try the Putin regime's war crimes, and on the situation facing Ukrainian children amid Russia's war on Ukraine.

Tsahkna and DiCarlo also spoke about the Black Sea grain deal, which Russia unilaterally exited, leaving civilian Ukrainian grain container ships and the often developing world nations which depend on their supply vulnerable to yet more Russian aggression.

Options for exporting Ukraine's grain via the Baltic states were on the table.

While in New York, the minister also attended the informal ministerial meeting of the network of the International Criminal Court (ICC), thanking the court's prosecutor for his consistent work.

"Since the start of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, the ICC has made great progress, launching an investigation into the war and issuing warrants for the arrest of Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova," the minister went on, via a press release.

Lvova-Belova has publicly stated support for the practice of abducting Ukrainian children and taking them into the Russian Federation.

Tsahkna also said that it was crucial to achieve political support for establishing the international special tribunal and maximum consensus across regions. "Our priority is that the organizers and perpetrators of all these crimes stand trial and are held to account, including Russia's leadership headed by President Putin."

 Estonia's contribution to upholding international law within the framework of the ICC was the candidacy of Andres Parmas as a potential court member, the minister noted.

Russia, as the successor nation to the Soviet Union (as enshrined in its own Constitution) has a UN Security Council veto, as a permanent member.

Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy said while in New York that for as long as this remained the case, the council remains toothless.

President Alar Karis has also called for reform of the security council, the formation of a criminal court and has highlighted the plight of Ukrainian children and other civilians, while at the UN headquarters.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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