The United States will push to remove Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council over Ukraine’s accusation that invading troops massacred civilians in the town of Bucha, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday.
“In close coordination with Ukraine, European countries and other partners at the UN, we are going to seek Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council,” Thomas-Greenfield told reporters following a meeting with Romania’s prime minister in Bucharest.
Thomas-Greenfield called Russia’s participation in the Human Rights Council a “farce” during the remarks from Bucharest on Monday.
“It hurts the credibility of the Council and the UN writ large. And it is simply wrong. Which is why we believe it is time for the UN General Assembly to suspend them,” she said.
President Biden later told reporters that he believes Russia committed war crimes in Bucha and vowed to impose additional sanctions on Moscow.
The Human Rights Council is a body at the U.N. charged with promoting and protecting human rights globally. Two-thirds of the 193 members of the U.N. would need to vote in favor of suspending Russia from the council for committing human rights abuses in order for the U.S. push to be successful.
The U.N. voted overwhelmingly to approve a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the beginning of March, days after Russian forces launched a large-scale military attack targeting Kyiv and other cities.
The U.S. has already formally accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine, but the evidence of such crimes mounted as horrific images of civilian bodies and mass graves in the streets of Bucha emerged over the weekend.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of “genocide” in remarks on Sunday. Russia has denied that it killed civilians in Bucha and called the accusations “provocation” by Ukraine’s government.