Germany has been severely criticized by Russia and China in the UN Security Council. Both countries promise the German UN ambassador that permanent membership will be difficult.

In the UN Security Council, Germany fought a heated war of words with Russia and China over humanitarian aid to the Syrian people. During Wednesday’s heated meeting, representatives from Moscow and Beijing questioned Germany’s suitability for a permanent seat on the Security Council. Germany’s path to permanent membership “will be difficult,” said Chinese representative Yao Shaojun.

The German government accuses Moscow and Beijing of being responsible for blocking deliveries of UN aid to Syria. In July, after heavy fighting, the UN Security Council reached an agreement on the limited continuation of cross-border humanitarian aid to the Syrian population. However, deliveries may only take place through a single border crossing.

“Hypocritical behavior” of Germany

German ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, denounced Russia and China’s attitude to humanitarian aid to Syria in the council meeting held via video link on Wednesday. It was “very cynical” when both states complained that relief supplies could not reach Syria.

Moscow and Beijing should check their position and allow deliveries through further border crossings so that food and medicine can really get to the people, Heusgen demanded. He complained that the UN Security Council had “dropped” the people of Syria. Russia is not only supporting Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad in the civil war, but is also contributing to the “suffering and death” of the people.

Russian Deputy Ambassador Dmitri Polyansky refuted this, charging that if the Security Council drops the Syrian population, it is due to the “hypocritical behavior” of Germany and the West. He also said to Heusgen: “We will not miss you.” At the end of the year, Germany leaves the most powerful body of the United Nations after two years of temporary membership.

Fixed seat for Germany off the table?

The Russian diplomat also said that as a result of the appearance of the German representatives on the Security Council, many UN member states that previously supported Germany’s permanent membership are now wondering whether “so much cynicism” should be allowed in the body. Chinese diplomat Yao said, “Germany’s actions in the Security Council are not meeting the expectations of the world and the expectations of the Council.”

Germany has sought for years to become a permanent member of the Security Council and to reform the constitution of the body in general, but without making major progress. The Security Council has five permanent and ten rotating members. Its permanent members are China, Russia, the US, France and Great Britain. Unlike temporary members, they have a right of veto.

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