​UK says evicting Russia from UN Security Council 'among all options' after rejecting NATO imposing 'no-fly-zone'

AP , Tuesday 1 Mar 2022

The UK government is open to ejecting Russia as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council following the invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said Tuesday.

Russian planes
A still image of Russian planes escorting a Russian bomber as they fly over a city in Ukraine on 24 February, 2022.Photo courtesy of The Economic Times Youtube page.

"The prime minister hasn't set out any position on that," he told reporters.

"What is right to say is that we want to see Russia isolated diplomatically, and we will consider all options to achieve that."

"I think it's something we want to discuss with the UN obviously," the spokesman, who speaks on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

"There are the mechanisms in place for that which are well established," he said, adding that Johnson had yet to stake out a position himself on the question.

"What is right to say is that we want to see Russia isolated diplomatically, and we will consider all options to achieve that."

Britain is also one of the five permanent members alongside Russia, the United States, China and France.

The five are meant to guarantee international peace and security, but Russia stands accused of trashing the UN rulebook with its offensive on Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Britain's deputy prime minister again rejected calls for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, saying it would risk widening the war by putting the alliance in direct conflict with Russian forces.

Dominic Raab told Sky News on Tuesday that Britain instead is pressuring Russian President Vladimir Putin to change course by working with other countries to ratchet up sanctions and investigate war crimes during the conflict.

"We're not going to (impose a no-fly zone) because it would put us in a position where we would have to enforce it by, in effect, shooting down Russian planes,'' Raab said in an interview with Sky.

The comments came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked NATO to impose a complete no-fly zone for Russian aeroplanes, helicopters and missiles.

The U.K. Ministry of Defense on Tuesday said Russia had failed to gain control of the skies over Ukraine, forcing it to shift to night operations to reduce its losses.

Russian forces have "made little progress'' in their advance on the capital, Kyiv, over the past 24 hours probably because of logistical difficulties, the ministry said.

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