Russia defends itself over criticism on UN Security Council presidency

Russia defended itself Monday against a barrage of criticism over its presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of April, insisting it will not abuse the position to defend its invasion of Ukraine.

"We do not abuse the prerogatives of the presidency," said the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia.

"One thing is the national position. The second thing is the role of the presidency of the Security Council," he said at a press conference marking Russia's assumption of the rotating position.

The situation provoked stinging criticism from Ukraine, which called it a "slap in the face to the international community," and from its allies.

"As you know, Russia is assuming its seat as president of the Security Council. Started on April 1. It's like an April Fool's joke," said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador.

"But the truth of the matter is, it's a rotating seat. We expect that they will behave professionally," she said.

"But we also expect that they will use their seat to spread disinformation and to promote their own agenda as it relates to Ukraine, and we will stand ready to call them out at every single moment that they attempt to do that," the ambassador added.

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