EU concerned over UN vote on Ukraine – Borrell
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has expressed disappointment that more countries didn’t support the UN’s latest resolution on the non-recognition of referendums on joining Russia in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and in Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
Speaking at the European Diplomatic Academy on Thursday, Borrell said he was happy that “the system reacted very well” after 143 countries in the UN General Assembly voted to reject the referendums, with only five countries, including Russia, voting against the resolution.
“There was a lot of work behind [this result], a lot of outreach to many people in order to be sure that we were above the 140 line,” the top diplomat said.
However, Borrell went on to state that he was “worried because there were too many abstentions,” as 45 countries, including China, India, South Africa, Thailand and Cuba, chose to refrain from casting their vote for the resolution.
“When more or less 20% of the world community decided not to support or not to reject the Russian annexation – for me, it is too many,” said the diplomat, adding that “we are happy because the bottle is quite full, but it is a little bit empty.”
Borrell insisted that more work must be done to convince more countries to condemn Russia and “make the world reject” Moscow’s military campaign against Ukraine.
The diplomat’s comments come as Russia accused the US and its allies of using “diplomatic terror” to force more countries into supporting the UN resolution. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that Western nations were “twisting the arms of developing countries and threatening them with all sorts of punishments” in order to get them to condemn Russia.
“Only through such undisguised blackmail and threats did they manage to ensure the result. We all understand perfectly. And the statements of the Americans that they are not persuading anyone, and that everyone is voting by themselves, is a lie. And they also know it,” Lavrov said.
Before launching its military operation in Ukraine in February, Russia recognized the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, arguing that Kiev had failed to represent and protect people living there. Residents of two other regions, Kherson and Zaporozhye, also voted by wide margins in public referendums to declare independence and join Russia. President Vladimir Putin signed unification treaties with the four new Russian regions on October 5.