UN condemns Russia’s move to annex parts of Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 12 (Reuters) – The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly condemned Russia’s “attempted illegal annexation” of four partially occupied regions of Ukraine and called on all countries not to not recognize this decision, reinforcing the international diplomatic isolation of Moscow since it invaded its neighbor.

Three-quarters of the General Assembly’s 193 members – 143 countries – voted in favor of a resolution that also reaffirmed Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity within from its internationally recognized borders.

“It’s amazing,” Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya told reporters after the vote as he stood next to US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who said that the result showed that Russia could not intimidate the world.

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Only four countries joined Russia in voting against the resolution – Syria, Nicaragua, North Korea and Belarus. Thirty-five countries abstained from voting, including Russia’s strategic partner China, while the others did not vote.

“Today it’s Russia invading Ukraine. But tomorrow it could be another nation whose territory is being violated. It could be you. You could be next. What would you expect from this chamber? ?” Thomas-Greenfield told the General Assembly before the vote.

In September, Moscow proclaimed its annexation of four partially occupied regions of Ukraine – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – after holding what it called referenda. Ukraine and its allies have denounced the votes as illegal and coercive.

The General Assembly vote followed a Russian veto last month on a similar resolution in the 15-member Security Council.

Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the General Assembly before the vote that the resolution was “politicized and openly provocative”, adding that it “could destroy all efforts for a diplomatic solution to the crisis”.

‘DUAL STANDARDS’

The steps taken at the United Nations mirror what happened in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. The General Assembly then adopted a resolution declaring the referendum invalid with 100 votes for, 11 against and 58 formal abstentions.

China abstained on Wednesday because it did not believe the resolution would help, said China’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Geng Shuang.

“Any action taken by the General Assembly should be conducive to the de-escalation of the situation, be conducive to the early resumption of dialogue and should be conducive to promoting a political solution to this crisis,” he said. .

The United States and other Western countries lobbied ahead of Wednesday’s vote. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken convened a virtual meeting with diplomats from more than 100 countries on Tuesday.

They won dozens of votes more than the 2014 result and improved on the 141 countries that voted to denounce Russia and demand that it withdraw its troops from Ukraine within a week of invading the February 24.

Moscow then tried to break its international isolation. As Russia and the West vied for diplomatic influence, some states — particularly in the Global South — worried about paying the price of being stuck in the middle of intense geopolitical rivalry.

“We deplore the policy of the double standard of the powerful of this world with regard to Africa,” the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, told the General Assembly on Wednesday.

“We support Ukraine. We want to see an end to the war,” he said. “But we would like to see the international community take similar action against other situations around the world where countries are being invaded and occupied.”

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Reporting by Michelle Nichols; edited by Costas Pitas and Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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