Punishing Russia

Having ruled out the direct use of military force, the U.S. and its allies now must decide how to respond to this flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. One tool among many that should be considered is to attempt to strip Russia of its seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Russia sits in one of the five permanent seats on the Security Council, and in theory could veto such a move, as well as block any attempt by the General Assembly to remove Russia from the UN altogether. But there has always been some question about the legal process by which the USSR’s seat was transferred to Russia after the Soviet Union’s collapse. The constituent republics of the USSR declared in 1991 that the Soviet Union ceased to exist, and with it should have gone the legal right of any of those entities, including Russia, to sit on the Council.

Nor was there a formal process to admit Russia into the U.N. after the USSR’s demise. The Security Council seat was granted via a decision from the UN’s legal counsel with no action requested from the General Assembly. That edict could be revoked, and the U.S. could demand a vote in the General Assembly on Russia’s Security Council membership. Would such a maneuver save Kyiv? No, but Moscow must be besieged on all fronts if there is any hope of rescuing Ukrainians from a Russian occupation. The worst crisis in post-war Europe demands nothing less than concerted, dramatic action aimed at Moscow’s total isolation, and the time to start is now. (The Week, 25 Feb 2022)

Comment: Fearsome backlash! The European Broadcasting Union announced Friday that “no Russian act will participate” in the annual song competition in light of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The announcement said this decision was made after a recommendation from the Eurovision Song Contest’s governing body and Reference Group.

“The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s contest would bring the competition into disrepute,” the EBU said. “Before making this decision the EBU took time to consult widely among its membership.”

Putin is reportedly shaken and deeply disturbed by this response.

Further comment: the above is acknowledged to be political (no-go for Epicureans!) but what Putin is doing is seriously disturbing to the peace of mind of millions, not to mention their lives. This, in my opinion, deserves Epicurean attention.

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