The United Nations voted in favor of a resolution condemning Russia’s annexation of Ukraine. The approval is higher than after the outbreak of the war.
With a historic majority, the world community approved Russia’s illegal annexations in
Ukraine condemned and annulled. 143 of the 193 members of the UN General Assembly voted in favor of a corresponding resolution in New York on Wednesday – 5 countries voted against, 35 abstained. Only Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua and Syria voted together with Russia. Although the decision is not binding under international law, it is considered a strong political signal and reveals Moscow’s international isolation.
The resolution passed on Wednesday condemns and invalidates the annexation of Russia. In addition, the Kremlin is being asked to cancel the incorporation of the partially occupied regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Cherson. In late September, Kremlin head Vladimir Putin announced the annexation after several bogus referendums.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed the decision as historic: “The world has spoken – the attempted annexation of Russia is futile and will never be recognized by free nations,” he tweeted.
The German UN mission wrote: “The international community has come together to defend the UN Charter. Unlike Russia, Ukraine is not alone.” US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield spoke of a “monumental day for the United Nations”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saw the UN resolution as a strong sign of international unity. “Today’s extraordinary vote in the UN General Assembly is a powerful reminder that the overwhelming majority of nations are with Ukraine – in defending the UN Charter and firmly opposing Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine and its people, “Blinken announced Wednesday (local time).
The result was even better than the General Assembly’s 141 votes to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine in March – and also the 100 votes for a similar resolution after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Also Brazil, Turkey and Saudi Arabia they voted in favor of the resolution. With China and India, on the other hand, two powerful states with a population of about 2.8 billion abstained. None of the former Soviet republics voted with Moscow. Meanwhile, more than a dozen African countries have abstained.
Even the forecasts of the biggest Western optimists were surpassed with the result. Before the vote, observers had speculated that in many countries, especially Africa and Latin America, a certain degree of war fatigue and dependence on Russia could lead to less support for the resolution. Some states believe the war in Ukraine is marginalizing other devastating conflicts and impeding progress.
In the emergency session of the General Assembly, which began on Monday, diplomats from dozens of countries warned that every member country of the United Nations must have a personal interest in condemning Russia. “Today it is Russia invading Ukraine. But tomorrow it could be another nation whose territory is being violated. It could be you. You could be next,” US Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said. Germany expressed a similar point of view: “The sovereign equality and territorial integrity of each of us would be at the mercy of our neighbors.”
Germany had previously promoted the resolution. “False referendums and illegal annexations of Russia are void,” German diplomat Michael Geisler said Wednesday ahead of the planned General Assembly vote on a resolution on Russia’s actions. “We all have a legal obligation to refuse to recognize them.”
Ukraine had asked members to accept the resolution, Moscow spoke of a “dangerous polarization” at the UN. On Thursday, China warned of blockades and a new Cold War and called for peace negotiations. A draft resolution similar to the one now approved failed at the UN Security Council at the end of September due to opposition from Russia. There, the resolutions have binding effect under international law. However, permanent members Russia, China, the United States, France and Great Britain can block any decision there with their vetoes.