The Soviet Union was a Charter of the United Nations and one of five permanent members of the Security Council. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, its UN seat was transferred to the Russia.
From the creation in 1945 to 1955, there was a Western world majority in the UN. Other nations joining the UN were limited. 1955 marked the end of American hegemony over the General Assembly because as more nations became states, they were accepted into the UN. The new states were often just beginning to understand what is their own state meant as they were pushed into the organization where they were often asked to pick between the West and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union made many new allies this way.
The USSR initially protested the membership of India and the Philippines, whose independence was then largely theoretical (being basically colonies of the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively, in all but name). A demand by the Soviet Union that all fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics be recognized as member states in the UN was counter-demanded by the United States that all then 48 states be similarly recognized. Ultimately two Soviet Republics (Ukraine and Byelorussia) were admitted as full members of the UN, so between 1945 and 1991, the Soviet Union was represented by three seats in the United Nations.Stalin: The Man and His Era. by Adam B. Ulam, p. 606-607
This resulted in the chairman of the US delegation to the San Francisco Conference, Edward Stettinius, not pressing the demand for three seats in the Assembly. No mention is made by Byrnes, who was at the Yalta Conference where the three seat issue was first discussed, of any official offer of three seats to the US, nor of any discussion as to which of the US states would have held those seats had they been offered.James F. Byrnes in his autobiography, All In One Lifetime, published by Harper Brothers,1958
The Soviets believed strongly in the veto power, and insisted it be part of the UN Security Council. They voiced this option for the veto power to both the Security Council and the General Assembly. The Soviet representative to the UN in 1950, Andrei Y. Vishinsky, declared that "the veto power is the paramount principle, which constitutes the cornerstone of the United Nations."
A major turning point in the Soviet UN relation occurred in January 1950, when Soviet representatives boycotted UN functions in protest over the occupation of the seat of China by the Taiwan. Yakov Malik was the sole Soviet representative that walked out of the UN, and announced that they would be boycotting further Security Council meetings. In the absence of the Soviet representatives, the UN Security Council was able to vote for the intervention of UN military forces in what would become the Korean War. This was a downfall to the action of the boycott that was unforeseeable to the Soviet Union at the time.
Western media reported in 1987 that Eastern European and Asian communist countries that were allies of the Soviet Union, had received more development assistance from the UN than what the Soviet Union had contributed. This contradicted communist states' rhetorical support for the UN's establishment of a New International Economic Order, which would transfer wealth from the rich Northern Hemisphere to the poor Southern Hemisphere states. The Soviet Union announced in September 1987 that it would pay back a portion of its debt to the UN.
The Soviet Union did not, however, win support in the UN for its foreign policy positions. The Soviet Union and Third World states often argued that imperialism caused and continued to maintain the disparities in the world distribution of wealth. They disagreed, however, on the proper level of Soviet aid to the Third World. Also, the Soviet Union encountered fierce opposition to its invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia and received little support (as evidenced by Third World abstentions) for its 1987 proposal on the creation of a "Comprehensive System of International Peace and Security."
During the Mikhail Gorbachev era, the Soviet Union made repeated suggestions for increasing UN involvement in the settlement of superpower and regional problems and conflicts. Though these proposals were not implemented, they constituted new initiatives in Soviet foreign policy and represented a break with the nature of past Soviet foreign policy. This lessened world tensions.
On 24 December 1991, the Soviet Permanent Representative to the UN Yuli Vorontsov delivered to the Secretary-General of the UN a letter from the Russian President Boris Yeltsin. The letter stated that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist, and that Russia would continue the Soviet Union's membership in the UN and maintain the full responsibility for all the rights and obligations of the Soviet Union under the UN Charter. The letter was circulated among the UN membership without any objection, and Russia formally took over the Soviet Union's seat in the UN General Assembly, in the Security Council and in other organs of the United Nations. The letter also confirmed the credentials of Soviet representatives to represent Russia, and Soviet representatives to the various UN agencies continued serving as Russian representatives without presenting new credentials. Ambassador Vorontsov continued serving as the first Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN.
On 31 January 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin himself was in the Russian Federation’s seat in the Security Council during the ‘summit meeting’ of the Council attended by heads of state and government.