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August 19, 2015

In U-turn, Russia supports India's entry into UN Security Council

 
In a sudden U-turn, Russia has said it backs the applications of both India and Brazil for permanent membership in the UN Security Council, less than a week after opposing Delhi's entry into the powerful five-nation grouping.

"We think that developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America are under-represented in the UN Security Council. That is why we support the applications of India and Brazil for permanent membership in the Security Council," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told news agency Itar-Tass ahead of the General Assembly session on the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

"We think that the African continent should be similarly represented in the structure because, I will stress it again, developing countries are under-represented and their role is insufficient in the work of this main institution."

Only less than a week ago, Vitaly Churkin, Russia's Permanent Ambassador to the UN, had written to UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa opposing India's entry as a permanent member of the Council. Both the US and China also resisted India's efforts to sit at the high table.

China, France, Russia, the UK and the US are the permanent, veto-holding members of the UN body responsible for maintaining international peace and security. While the Chinese position was predictable, the stand of the US and Russia - close partners of India -did not go down well with the Modi government, officials here said.

They are of opinion that these countries do not want to share their exclusive privileges. Prime Minister Narendra Modi may raise the issue when he meets US President Barack Obama on September 28 in New York and when he visits Moscow this December for the annual summit.

India has been hoping that the 70th anniversary of the UN this year would be an appropriate time to reform the Security Council to reflect global realities. France and UK have supported India's case. Lavrov noted that it was important to promote such a reform "that will not make UN Security Council uncontrolled, exceedingly amorphous, overblown institution.

The efficiency of its work is one of the key principles along with appropriate representation of all regions, all centres of global development. Somewhere around slightly more than 20 members — I think, that is the threshold that should be considered."

economictimes

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