War crimes in Ukraine: Argentina to vote with the US to suspend Russia as a member of the UN Human Rights Council

Argentina will vote the suspension of the Russian Federation as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, after verifying the systematic massacre carried out by order of Vladimir Putin against the civilian population of Bucha, a city in Ukraine that was razed to the ground by the Red Army as it advanced towards Kiev.

The suspension of Russia as a member of the Human Rights Council was proposed by the United States and will be voted on tomorrow by the UN General Assembly. We need a special majority – two thirds of those present – and the White House believes that there will be no major inconvenience to the vote.

Alberto Fernández, Santiago Cafiero (Foreign Minister) and Jorge Arguello (Argentine Ambassador to Washington) discussed the State Department initiative during a long lunch at the Casa Rosada. The President, having listened to the arguments of Cafiero and Arguello, based on the evidence presented by the Biden administration, and by the end of the meeting it had already been decided that Argentina would support Russia’s suspension.

The massacre committed by Putin’s orders in Bucha is close to the international concept of genocide. When the Red Army withdrew from the city, hundreds of bodies were found in the streets of Bucha. The morgue could not handle all the massacred bodies and the Ukrainian military authorities decided to open mass graves to avoid a health tragedy.

The body of a murdered man, with his feet tied, appears on vacant land in the city of Bucha.  (sensitive material)
The body of a murdered man, with his feet tied, appears on vacant land in the city of Bucha. (sensitive material)

The diplomatic position defined by Alberto Fernández does not respond only to the evidence demonstrating the atrocities committed by the Kremlin in Ukraine.

The head of state also took into account that Argentina leads the UN Human Rights Council and the country’s trajectory regarding the prosecution of soldiers and civilians involved in disappearances, murders, torture and rape committed during the last military dictatorship.

Deputy Foreign Minister Pablo Tettamanti, decorated at the time by the Russian Federation, tried to place Argentina among the few UN members who would have voted to abstain from the US project. But Cafiero turned down Tettamanti’s advice and went with an impeccable location to lunch with Alberto Fernández at the Balcarce 50.

The President disagrees with Biden when proposing the suspension of Russia from the G20, but he hasn’t hesitated about the UN Human Rights Council. Alberto Fernández has already confirmed that he will participate in the Indonesian G20 -as Putin did-, and awaits the bilateral meeting with Biden in Los Angeles to hear his geopolitical arguments.

The Indonesian G20 will be held in November and the military and diplomatic situation regarding Ukraine is unstable and changing by the minute. The head of state believes that the G20 is a multilateral framework that facilitates geopolitical dialogue, and in this sense – for now – believes that Russia should not be suspended at the request of the White House.

Alberto Fernández and Vladimir Putin walk down a corridor in the Kremlin
Alberto Fernández and Vladimir Putin walk down a corridor in the Kremlin

The US project is supported by the European Union (EU) and Japan, but doubts remain about the position of Brazil and Mexico. Jair Bolsonaro had a zigzag posture regarding the crisis in Ukraine, and Andrés Manuel López Obrador has not confirmed yet your vote in favor of the suspension of Russia.

Argentina chairs the Human Rights Council and should have dealt with the State Department initiative, but in the end the UN General Assembly will deal with the suspension of Russia because the deliberations have already been concluded in Geneva.

Putin would only have the support – through refusal or abstention – of China, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia, among other member countries of the United Nations.

The vote is tomorrow in New York, and if there are no diplomatic surprises, The suspension of Russia will be supported in the Extraordinary Assembly of the United Nations by more than one hundred states.

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