A U.N. resolution that would have condemned Russia’s referendums in four areas of Ukraine as unconstitutional and unlawful and urged all nations not to accept any annexation of the land Moscow claims as its own was rejected by Russia on Friday.
The Security Council’s 15 members voted 10-1, with China, India, Brazil, and Gabon abstention.
The resolution would also have urged that Russia immediately cease its “full-scale criminal invasion of Ukraine” and withdraw all of its military forces from Ukraine without conditions.
In the event of a Russian veto, the resolution’s sponsors, the United States and Albania, said before the vote that they would take it to the 193-member General Assembly, where there are no vetoes, “and show that the world is still on the side of sovereignty and safeguarding territorial integrity.”
Next week is probably when that will occur.
Barbara Woodward, the British ambassador to the United Nations, repeated Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ assertion that Russia’s actions contravene the U.N. Charter and ought to be denounced.
“The area Russia is claiming to annex is more than 90,000 square kilometers,” she said. “This is the largest forcible annexation of territory since the Second World War. There is no middle ground on this.”
The council’s vote came hours after President Vladimir Putin signed annexation treaties in a grand Kremlin ceremony, declaring that the Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia were now a part of Russia and would be protected by Moscow.
The outcomes of the “fake” referendums on the areas’ desire to join Russia, according to Thomas-Greenfield, were “pre-determined in Moscow, and everybody knows it.” She claimed that they were detained “under the fire of Russian weapons.”
We all recognize the ramifications for our own borders, economy, and countries if these principles are disregarded, she continued, adding that “the hallowed ideals of sovereignty and territorial integrity” at the core of the U.N. Charter must be upheld.
“Putin miscalculated the resolve of the Ukrainians,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “The Ukrainian people have demonstrated loud and clear: They will never accept being subjugated to Russian rule.”