UNITED NATIONS: Britain has blocked the UN webcast of an informal Security Council meeting on Wednesday after Russia indicated that its commissioner for children’s rights, whom the International Criminal Court wants to arrest on war crimes charges, would speak, according to diplomats.
In a note seen by Reuters on Tuesday, Russia informed council members that the discussion about Ukraine will center on “evacuating children from conflict zones,” and that the commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, will address the meeting.

Such meetings are held at the United Nations headquarters, but not in the Security Council chamber, and briefings can be done virtually. The United Nations must obtain permission from all 15 council members before it can be webcast.

According to diplomats, Britain blocked the webcast because Russia refused to confirm who would brief. Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador, confirmed Britain’s decision on Twitter.

“From now on, Russia will block UN webcasts of all similar meetings citing the ‘UK censorship clause,'” Polyanskiy wrote.

Russia has yet to confirm who will be speaking at the briefing.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant last month for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lvova-Belova, accusing them of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine and illegally transferring people from Ukraine to Russia since Moscow invaded on February 24, 2022.

Moscow has not hidden a program that has brought thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, but it has disguised it as a humanitarian campaign to protect orphans and children abandoned in conflict zones.

Last month, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters that the informal meeting of Security Council members scheduled for Wednesday was planned long before the ICC announcement and was not intended to be a rebuttal of the charges against Putin and Lvova-Belova.
According to diplomats, a UN webcast is rarely blocked. However, China blocked the UN webcast of a US-convened informal Security Council meeting on human rights violations in North Korea last month.



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