UN members vote overwhelmingly to condemn Russia’s annexation of Ukraine


United Nations – The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn Russia on Wednesday so-called annexation a large part of Ukraine and called on Russia to withdraw its troops from these areas. Saudi Arabia was among the nations that voted in favor of the resolution.

By a majority of 143:5, the General Assembly condemned Russia’s “attempted illegal annexation” of four Ukrainian territories and called on Russia to “immediately, fully and unconditionally withdraw all its forces.”

The five nations that voted against the measure were Russia, Syria, Nicaragua, North Korea and Belarus. China was among 35 nations that abstained.

Russia annexation Ukraine vote United Nations
A general view shows voting results during an emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss Russia’s annexation of Ukraine October 12, 2022 at the UN headquarters in New York City. The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to condemn Russia’s annexations of parts of Ukraine after Moscow vetoed a similar attempt in the Security Council.

ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images

The resolution, which also called on nations to “refrain from any action that might be interpreted as recognition of such changed status,” marked the strongest support for Ukraine from the 193-nation General Assembly since the Russian invasion began.

President Biden said Wednesday night in a statement praising the vote that “143 nations stood on the side of liberty, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“The stakes of this conflict are clear to all – and the world has sent a clear message in response: Russia cannot erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia cannot change borders by force,” Biden’s statement said. “Russia cannot claim the territory of another country for itself. Ukraine is entitled to the same rights as any other sovereign country. It must be able to choose its own future and its people must be able to live peacefully within its internationally recognized borders.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the United Nations, told world leaders in the General Assembly Hall that “our message is loud and clear: It doesn’t matter whether you as a nation are big or small, rich or poor, old or are new are a UN member state, your borders belong to you and are protected by international law. The road to peace is not through appeasement. The path to peace does not lead to turning back in the face of these flagrant violations. Peace does not, and has never come out of silence.”

After the vote, Thomas-Greenfield told reporters it was a “monumental day.” and later tweeted“Kherson is Ukraine. Zaporizhia is Ukraine. Donetsk is Ukraine. Luhansk is Ukraine,” referring to the territories now claimed by Russia.

Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, told CBS News the vote was a “collective effort by an overwhelming majority and a call for moral duty and common sense.”

“Who wants or can afford to be on the wrong side of the fence at this historic moment?” asked Kyslytsya.

On October 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed laws annexing four Ukrainian regions in the wake of “referendums” held by Moscow in the regions. These referendums were condemned as a scam by the international community, with Ukraine, the United Nations chief, the US and many other countries dismissing the move as blatantly illegal land grabs.

“The Russian delegation leaves a trail of blood when entering the General Assembly,” Kyslytsya told the General Assembly on Wednesday, citing the brutality of attacks on civilians since the beginning of the war.

The vote clearly showed how far the international community has come to send a unified message to Russia. All members of the Gulf Cooperation Council – which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – voted in favor of the resolution.

Abdulaziz Alwasil, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the UN, said support for the measure stems from “commitment to the sound principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations… We reaffirm the need to respect the sovereignty of states with neighboring relationships.” ”

Before the vote, Russia’s UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzja warned that the measure could “thwart all efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.”

His caution was ignored.

after one 8 October explosion that caused the partial collapse a bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean Peninsula in Russia two-day retaliatory strikes launched on Monday and Tuesday in which dozens of rockets and drones were fired into Ukraine. At least 19 people were killed and more than 100 injured. This was announced by Russia on Wednesday arrested eight people in connection with the explosion.

“The recent spate of rocket attacks on civilian infrastructure in Kyiv and cities, now claimed by Russia through its sham referendums, reveals to us the true nature of this war,” Bob Rae, Canada’s ambassador to the UN, told the General Assembly on Wednesday.

“This is not a ‘special military operation,'” he added. “It is a war to punish and destroy Ukraine.”

Olof Skoog, European Union Ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters after the vote that “Today’s result is a clear statement that rejects what Russia is doing and considers it illegal: the mock referendums, the alleged annexations, all that. It proves today that it will not stand, and that it will be declared null and void and simply have no validity.”

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, tweeted that “Russia will be held accountable,” he added, adding that the General Assembly vote “clearly rejected the illegal annexation of Russia.”

Wednesday’s vote came after the UN Security Council failed to adopt a resolution on the same issue in late September due to the Russian veto. Although General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, the weight of a condemnation by nearly 75 percent of the world’s nations sends a message to Russia, US officials said.

“There is a very simple way to end this war,” a senior White House official speaking in the background told reporters last week what President Biden said to the UN General Assembly in September. “Russia can stop fighting, withdraw its troops to Ukraine’s borders and the war will be over.”

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