Russia vetoes UN Security Council resolution calling for withdrawal from Ukraine
Russia on Friday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution it aimed to effectively block action by the panel, which is responsible for protecting and maintaining international peace.
The resolution, written and submitted by the United States and dozens of its allies, strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called on Moscow to immediately withdraw its troops and provide safe access to humanitarian relief work.
Eleven member states voted in favor of the resolution. China, India and the United Arab Emirates did not participate. Russia, which has veto power as one of the five permanent members of the council, voted against it.
“Russia, you can veto this proposal, but you can’t veto our voices,” said US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “You can’t veto the truth. You can’t veto our principles. You can’t veto the Ukrainian people. You can’t veto the United Nations Charter. And you won’t veto accountability.”
The United States already knew that Russia would veto the proposal. But US officials hoped that by doing so Russia would demonstrate its isolation and its disregard for the UN Charter.
Russia looked unconcerned. Its ambassador thanked the three countries abstaining from the vote. He dismissed diplomatic efforts to hold it accountable as a Western conspiracy. He denied that Russia had targeted civilian infrastructure in Ukraine and then gave a blow to its own military incursions into the United States, citing the 2003 US invasion of Iraq as the grounds that Saddam Hussein was harboring chemical weapons, which turned out to be. not true.
“It is difficult for us to compete with the US in terms of aggression,” said Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzya. “You are not in a moral position.”
Diplomats said the UN General Assembly would act next week on a resolution condemning Russia’s war on Ukraine. Countries do not have veto power in the General Assembly, but its resolutions are symbolic and not as legally binding as those of the Security Council.
China’s resignation was not a surprise. China has taken a stand on both sides of the conflict, calling for de-escalation of tensions and respect for sovereignty, but has stopped condemning Russia.
“Against the background of five consecutive rounds of NATO expansion, Russia’s legitimate security aspiration should be noted and properly addressed,” Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun said. “Ukraine should be a bridge between East and West, not an outpost for confrontation between major powers.”
Understand Russia’s attack on Ukraine
What is at the root of this attack? Russia considers Ukraine to be within its natural sphere of influence, and it has been alarmed by Ukraine’s proximity to the West and the possibility of the country joining NATO or the European Union. While Ukraine is part of neither, it receives financial and military aid from the United States and Europe.
But the separation by India and the United Arab Emirates, America’s allies in the Middle East, came as a surprise. Both countries said they did not vote in favor of the resolution as it could have closed the way for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
Brazil voted in favor of the resolution and condemned Russia’s aggression. Its ambassador said the country had sought changes to the text of the resolution to “balance” the language and leave room for diplomacy during last-minute talks.
The council meeting ended with Ukraine’s ambassador, Sergei Kislitsya, asking for a moment of silence to pray for peace and to honor those who died or died.
“I invite the Russian ambassador to pray for salvation,” said Mr. Kislitsya. This was followed by a minute’s silence followed by loud applause.
After the meeting ended, the diplomats spoke to the news media. The EU’s representative, Olof Skog, said Russia’s veto was “another evidence of Russia’s isolation and gross disrespect to the world.”
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