November 27, 2022

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Russia vetoes the US-led resolution on the alleged annexation of Moscow, and China abstains from the vote

Russia vetoes the US-led resolution on the alleged annexation of Moscow, and China abstains from the vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia on Friday vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution introduced by the United States and Albania condemning Moscow’s announcement to annex parts of Ukraine, and China chose to abstain from the vote.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russian rule over four regions that make up 15% of Ukraine’s territory – the largest annexation in Europe since World War II. This move was vigorously rejected by Western countries and even many of Russia’s close allies.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield introduced the resolution which called on member states not to recognize any change in Ukraine’s status and obligated Russia to withdraw its forces.

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Speaking in the council chamber, she said an attempt to annex the territory of a sovereign state goes against the founding principles of the United Nations, and said Putin was celebrating “this clear violation of international law” with a concert held after his announcement of the annexation on Friday.

“He threw a party in Red Square to get patted on his back at these illegal referendums,” said Thomas Greenfield.

Ten countries voted in favor of the resolution, while China, Gabon, India and Brazil abstained.

The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, who raised his hand to give the only vote against the resolution, said the regions where Moscow had seized territory by force and where fighting was still raging, chose to be part of Russia. Kyiv and Western leaders denounced the referendums as deception.

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“There will be no retreat as today’s draft resolution will try to impose it,” Nebenzia said.

China, which has given Russia diplomatic cover since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February, declined the decision but raised concerns about a “protracted and expanding crisis” in Ukraine.

China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said that while “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be protected,” countries’ “legitimate security concerns” should also be taken seriously.

Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken said earlier on Friday that Washington would look to the United Nations General Assembly, whose majority voted to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, if the resolution fails.

“If Russia prevents the Security Council from discharging its responsibilities, we will ask the United Nations General Assembly, where every country has a vote, to make it clear that it is unacceptable to redraw borders by force,” Blinken said.

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(Reporting by Simon Lewis and Timothy Gardner) Editing by Franklin Paul, Jonathan Otis and David Gregorio

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.