Alex Enumah in Abuja
Russia has described Nigeria as a regional power player that has everything it takes to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
The country which noted that she is now more proactive in promoting a positive agenda in international organisations and informal associations, including the UN and others, also assured that she would support Nigeria’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council if her candidacy is a consensus of the African Union (AU).
The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Nigeria, Mr. Nikolay Udovichenko, stated this during a chat with journalists in Abuja.
“In Africa, we have seen a number of regional powers, which have the capacity to be a permanent member of the council and which are ready to take the responsibility associated with it,” he said.
Adding that, “The size of the Nigerian economy, population and its influence in the sub-region are important factors which speak for the Nigerian candidacy in the UN Security Council.”
Udovichenko, who expressed confidence in Nigeria’s ability to live up to expectation, noted that the country is a major factor in guaranteeing peace not just in Africa but globally.
He said Russia and Nigeria cooperated in the humanitarian and human rights fields in major UN fora and all its structures which pay specific attention to African issues.
While noting that Nigeria was yet to officially present her candidacy, and as such Russia cannot back her, the envoy however, assured that his country is ready to support the consensus candidate of the AU.
“There is still issue of consensus, which is about two representatives of the AU in the permanent seat.
“If there is a consensus candidate of the AU and from Nigeria, we will be very pleased to support it.
“As soon as Africa decides who those two are, then we will start process of negotiations and try to explain that the enlargement of the UN Security Council must be based on consensus, not only two third majorities of votes. But really we have no objection to regional candidate,” the ambassador assured.
The Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the UN and it is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
It has 15 members comprising five permanent and 10 non-permanent members. No Africa country has a permanent representative. The five permanent members are Russia, UK, France, China and the United States.