Russia backs India’s bid for a permanent UNSC seat

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow feels that the presence of an African country is also necessary

August 18, 2015 12:38 am | Updated November 17, 2021 01:03 am IST - NEW DELHI:

After the United States, Russia too has clarified that it is open to supporting India’s bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In an interview to the news agency TASS, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that while Moscow supports the candidature of India and Brazil for permanent membership in the U.N. Security Council, it also feels that the presence of an African country in this structure is also necessary.

Russia’s explanation comes days after it was made known that along with the U.S. and China, Moscow was opposed to negotiations to reform the U.N. body, which would have paved the way for India’s inclusion in the group with the P-5. While Mr. Lavrov told TASS that the expansion of the UNSC was being discussed, Russia envisions a Security Council of not more than 20 members. “We support this process. We think that developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America are under-represented in the U.N. Security Council. That is why we support applications of India and Brazil,” Mr. Lavrov was quoted as having told TASS. The Russian Minister’s interview comes on the heels of the U.S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, asserting that there has been no change in his country’s position on the expansion of the UNSC.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview comes on the heels of the U.S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, asserting that there has been no change in his country’s position on the expansion of the UNSC and on India’s bid for candidature for a permanent seat.

However, despite the assertions of public support for India’s candidature, neither the U.S. nor Russia has explained why their letters to U.N. General Assembly president Sam Kutesa did not include their support. These countries have also made it clear they woldn’t support veto power for India or any other country.

China too remains a big roadblock as it has neither clarified its position on support for India nor is it expected to support the adoption of the UNSC expansion process if it comes to a vote by September 15, when the current UNGA session ends.

>The Hindu had earlier reported that the U.S. in a letter to the U.N. had said it supported a “moderate expansion” of the UNSC without a veto power to new members. Russia, in its letter to UNGA president, had said the “prerogatives of the current permanent members of the Security Council, including the use of the veto, should remain intact under any variant of the Council reform.” The move by both countries was perceived as a dilution of their support for India.

New Delhi, which will be competing for a permanent seat with Germany, Japan and Brazil, already has the support of France and the U.K., and has long held that as one of the biggest democracies and a growing economy it is poised to take its place in the UNSC complete with the veto.

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