Russian FM to chair UN Security Council meeting in New York

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Moscow said its foreign minister will chair a UN Security Council meeting in April, when Russia will hold the rotating presidency of the international body.

Russia has repeatedly said it was confronted at the UN by the "collective West" that has ostracised Russia since the beginning of the Ukraine offensive.

Ukraine has called for Russia to be removed from Security Council over the military operation launched in February last year.

Russia last chaired the council in February 2022.

"Another key event of the Russian presidency (of the Security Council) will be a high-level open debate on the 'effective multilateralism through the defence of the principles of the UN Charter'," ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a press briefing.

"This meeting will be chaired by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov," she added.

Zakharova also said Lavrov was planning to lead a debate on the situation in the Middle East on April 25.

Ukraine earlier criticised the upcoming change in presidency.

"Russian UN Security Council presidency on April 1 is a bad joke," Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

"Russia has usurped its seat; it's waging a colonial war; its leader is a war criminal wanted by the ICC for kidnapping children," Kuleba said.

The presidency rotates every month between the 15 member states.

Russia would hold little influence on the decisions but would be in charge of setting the agenda of the international body.