Retired Gen. Philip Breedlove, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, asked in an interview with The West Block guest host David Akin that if Russia’s bloody and unprovoked invasion is not cause enough to attempt an unprecedented removal, then what is?
“Right now, people are saying we can’t remove him from the Security Council. Why not? If this is not the time … if this is not the mode to make that change, then shame on us for not trying,” Breedlove said.
“We need to move out. He should not be going to the G20. We need to eliminate Russia from the world stage over how they are comporting this war.”
Russia is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — a position that comes with veto power to unilaterally block proposals coming before the council.
It used that veto power earlier this year to block a resolution “that would have demanded that Moscow immediately stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all troops,” according to the United Nations.
The use of the veto has long led to questions about whether the Security Council is effective. But Russia’s renewed use of it to block proposals targeting its invasion of Ukraine has put both the veto and Russia’s role writ large on the powerful council under renewed scrutiny.
Last week, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to put any Security Council member who uses their veto under the spotlight. As a result of that vote, the General Assembly will be required “to hold a debate on the situation” within 10 days of any veto.
Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly also spoke about the need for broader reforms to the United Nations during an appearance at the Senate foreign affairs committee last week.
“The United Nations needs reform. We know that. We’re not the only country that knows that,” she said, pointing to the need for accountability on states as a key part of that.
“We need to be there for its reform … I don’t think that without the UN, the world would be as stable, even in the face of instability.”
Joly had pointed to the need for Canada and allies to be prepared for “all scenarios” when asked whether Canadians should take seriously Russian threats to use nuclear weapons.
But she had also emphasized the need to continue to support Ukraine and ramp up support as the war enters a major period of escalation in the eastern Donbas region.
Breedlove said Russian threats of nuclear weapons appeared to have deterred the West from stronger action in support of Ukraine initially but that as the threats continue, countries are less and less deterred from sending weapons and heavy arms to the sovereign democracy.
“Now what we see is Mr. Putin trying now to use even more inflammatory and scary language to further deter us from taking action,” he said. “And I think it’s very good that the West is now stepping up to the plate and starting to take those steps that would begin to reverse that deterrence.”