UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Safronkov said that “the optimal number of members should not exceed the level of low twenties."
“We think it best for the Security Council to have compact membership,” Safronkov said Monday at a periodic meeting on Security Council reform. Any ideas that can infringe on the prerogatives of the current permanent members of the Security Council, including the veto right, are unacceptable“.
The envoy added that any decision on reforming the Council should be based on the broadest possible consensus of the General Assembly, stressing that Russia would consider “intermediate arrangements” if they were supported by an overwhelming majority of members.
The United States’ deputy UN ambassador, Michele Sison, also said that any overhaul of the Security Council should reflect input from as many countries as possible.
She added that the United States, too, remains “opposed to any expansion or alteration of the veto.”
Also at Monday’s session, UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the veto issue should not slow progress on expanding the Council. He said the United Kingdom favors "modest expansion in the permanent and nonpermanent categories — an increase that balances representation with effectiveness.”
In addition, Rycroft expressed London’s support for permanent seats for Brazil, Germany, India and Japan as well as permanent African representation.
Enlarging and diversifying the Security Council is a longstanding priority for the General Assembly. Currently the Council consists of five permanent, veto-wielding members — Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and France — and 10 nonpermanent, rotating members.