Russia has used its veto in the United Nations Security Council to sink a draft resolution that sought to condemn its annexations of Ukrainian territory.
But even Moscow’s close friends, China and India, chose to abstain rather than vote against the resolution condemning the Kremlin’s latest actions in Ukraine.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield introduced the resolution to the Security Council meeting on Friday calling on member states not to recognize any altered status of Ukraine and forcing Russia to withdraw its troops.
Previously, the largest annexation in Europe since World War II took place when Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed Russian rule over four regions representing 15 percent of Ukraine’s territory.
The resolution, co-sponsored by the US and Albania, called for the condemnation of “illegal” referendums held in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine and for all states not to recognize any changes to Ukraine’s borders.
The resolution also called on Russia to withdraw troops from Ukraine immediately, ending an invasion that was launched on February 24.
Ten nations voted in favor of the resolution, while China, Gabon, India and Brazil abstained.
“No country voted with Russia. None,” Thomas-Greenfield told reporters after the meeting, adding that the abstentions were “clearly not a defense of Russia.”
The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, who raised his hand to indicate the only vote against the resolution, argued that the regions, where Moscow has seized the territory by force and where the fighting is still going on, chose be part of Russia.
“There will be no going back as today’s draft resolution would try to impose,” Nebenzia told the meeting.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya said that the single hand raised against the resolution “again testifies to Russia’s isolation and its desperate attempts to deny the reality of our common commitments, starting from the UN charter.” .
UK envoy Barbara Woodward said Russia had “abused its veto to defend its illegal actions” but said the annexations had “no legal effect”.
“It’s a fantasy,” he added.
Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from the United Nations in New York, said in response to the resolution that the Russian representative “sounded incredulous,” and it was no surprise that Russia used its power as a permanent member of the Security Council to veto the resolution. resolution. resolution.
“But it is notable that four other council members decided not to support the resolution and instead abstained: China, Brazil, Gabon and India,” Bays said.
“Immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when the UN General Assembly voted in early March, 141 countries voted to deplore Russia’s actions. Following the Security Council vote and abstentions, some will wonder if it is possible to peak again,” he said.
The UK ambassador to the UN spoke with @AJEnglish after Russia’s veto in the UN Security Council of a draft resolution condemning annexation votes made in parts of occupied Ukraine.@UKUN_NewYork‘s @BWoodward_UN saying @baysontheroad the issue will go to the General Assembly next week. pic.twitter.com/rLgfYcrVhs
—Amanda Price (@amandaruthprice) September 30, 2022
China abstained from voting on the resolution, but also expressed concern about “a prolonged and widening crisis” in Ukraine.
China has been firmly on the fence about the conflict in Ukraine, criticizing Western sanctions against Russia but failing to endorse or assist Moscow’s military campaign, despite the two nations declaring a “limitless” strategic partnership in February.
In a surprise admission, Putin recently said that China’s leader, Xi Jinping, was worried about Ukraine.
Beijing’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, argued that while “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be safeguarded,” countries’ “legitimate security concerns” must also be taken seriously.
“More than seven months after the Ukraine crisis, the crisis and its after-effects have had a wide range of negative impacts. The prospect of a prolonged and widened crisis is also worrying. China is deeply concerned about this prospect,” the ambassador said in a statement.
Explanation of Ambassador Zhang Jun’s Vote on the UN Security Council Draft Resolution on Ukrainehttps://t.co/o8HzQL0zf9 pic.twitter.com/xUm2bcsx5e
— Chinese Mission to the UN (@Chinamission2un) October 1, 2022
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said China’s abstention in the vote showed Russia’s “saber rattling” and moves that threatened the territorial integrity of other states put China in an “awkward position.” .
“We don’t have China signing up for this much more aggressive agenda that Russia is trying to sell,” the official said.