Bizarre move by Russia: The Kremlin sent a special letter

Written by Henrik Rothen

Sep.27 - 2023 11:39 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
'The Kremlin sent a special letter'

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Russia is making efforts to rejoin the United Nations Human Rights Council, according to a document obtained by BBC journalists.

The document outlines Russia's intent to "find adequate solutions to human rights issues" and criticizes the Council for serving the political will of a specific group of countries, an evident reference to Western nations.

Experts and diplomats associated with the UN believe that Russia's desire to rejoin the Council is an attempt to regain international credibility amid accusations of human rights violations in illegally occupied Ukraine.

The BBC recalls the words of Erik Mose, Chairman of the Investigative Commission on Ukraine, who stated that there are "ongoing evidence of war crimes, including torture, rape, and attacks on civilians."

In September, a report by three groups—UN Watch, Human Rights Foundation, and Raoul Wallenberg Human Rights Center—stated that Russia "does not qualify" for membership in the Council.

The report argued that re-electing Russia to the Council, especially while its war with Ukraine continues, would send a signal that the UN is not serious about holding Russia accountable for its crimes in Ukraine.

The United Kingdom strongly opposes Russia's efforts. David Lammy, the shadow foreign minister in the UK, stated that Russia's potential return to the Council would be "an insult to the very concept of human rights and a dangerous step backward."

Despite the logical improbability of Russia rejoining the Council, experts note that Russia is offering smaller countries weapons and grain in exchange for their votes.

Russia was suspended from the Council in April 2022 due to its invasion of Ukraine. The decision on its potential return will be made by all members of the UN General Assembly in a vote involving 193 countries. The elections will take place on October 10. Russia will be competing with Albania and Bulgaria for a seat.

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