Five countries voted against a UN Resolution condemning Russia’s attempts to annex four regions of Ukraine on Wednesday.
Apart from Russia, against the resolution were Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua and Syria. The resolution was supported by 143 countries, while 35 states – including China and India – abstained.
As well as China and India, which have attempted to remain neutral on the conflict, parties that abstained from the vote included 19 nations in Africa.
The resolution calls on the international community not to recognize any of Russia’s annexation claims and demands its “immediate reversal”. It welcomes and “expresses its strong support” for efforts to de-escalate the conflict through negotiation.
Last week, in a grand ceremony in the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin signed documents to make the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson part of Russia.
The agreements were signed with the Moscow-installed leaders of the four regions and came after self-proclaimed referendums in the areas that were denounced as a “sham” by the West.
UN Resolution sends “clear message” to Russia
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was grateful to the countries that did support the resolution.
Grateful to 143 states that supported historic #UNGA resolution "Territorial integrity of Ukraine: defending the principles of the UN Charter". The world had its say – RF’s attempt at annexation is worthless & will never be recognized by free nations. 🇺🇦 will return all its lands pic.twitter.com/FupYPfZz8M
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) October 12, 2022
“The world had its say – [Russia’s] attempts at annexation is [sic] worthless and will never be recognized by free nations,” he tweeted, adding that Ukraine would “return all its lands”.
US President Joe Biden said the vote sent a “clear message” to Moscow.
“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,” he said.
Greece which voted in favor of the UN resolution has vowed never to recognize the annexation of Ukraine’s territories by Russia.
Greece “will never recognize the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s territories,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said.
The premier added that “Russia is undermining the rules-based international order and violating the fundamental rights of Ukraine to independence and sovereignty,” and that “Greece and the EU stand firmly with Ukraine.”
The General Assembly vote was triggered after Russia used its veto power to prevent action at the Security Council – the body in charge of maintaining international peace and security. As permanent members, China, the United States, France and the United Kingdom also hold vetoes on the council.
There have been calls for Russia to be stripped of its veto power after the Ukraine invasion.