Russia responds to UN vote on Ukraine
The non-binding “anti-Russian” resolution of the UN General Assembly will not bring the world closer to ending the Ukraine conflict, Vassily Nebenzia, Moscow’s permanent envoy to the organization, said following a resolution passed on Thursday.
The resolution calls for Russia to “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.” It also condemns Moscow for “aggression” against the neighboring state.
The document was backed by 141 countries, while seven, including Russia, voted against it. A total of 32 UN members, including China and India, abstained.
Ahead of the vote, Nebenzia slammed it as “detrimental” to the prospects of ending the conflict. “How can UN members aid a peaceful resolution to the heightened contradictions between Russia and the West? We can say with certainty: the tabled resolution will surely not help,” the diplomat stated.
[The document] is aimed at encouraging the West’s actions and at giving a pretext for our opponents to claim that Russia is supposedly isolated in the world. It means the continuation of their militaristic Russophobic line while using the so-called support from UN members as cover.
The General Assembly rejected an amendment proposed by Belarus that urged countries to “refrain from sending weapons to the zone of [the] conflict” and called for “the start of peace negotiations.”
Moscow sent troops into Ukraine exactly a year ago, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass, a predominately Russian speaking region, and Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-2015 Minsk peace accords. Ukraine has accused Russia of unprovoked aggression.
Speaking before the General Assembly, Nebenzia reiterated that Russia launched its offensive “in order to end the eight-year war waged by the Kiev authorities against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk.”
The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics broke away from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 Western-backed coup in Kiev. The two republics, together with two other former Ukrainian regions, eventually joined Russia after holding referendums in September.