Russia used its veto in the United Nations Security Council to thwart a draft resolution that sought to condemn its annexation of Ukraine.
But even Moscow’s two closest friends, China and India, chose to abstain rather than vote against the resolution condemning the Kremlin’s recent actions in Ukraine.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, presented the resolution to the Security Council meeting on Friday calling on member states not to recognize any change in Ukraine’s status and to compel Russia to withdraw its forces.
Earlier, the largest annexation took place in Europe since World War II when Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Russian rule over four regions that make up 15 percent of Ukraine’s territory.
The resolution, co-sponsored by the United States and Albania, called for the condemnation of “illegal” referendums held in the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, and for not all countries recognizing any changes to Ukraine’s borders.
The resolution also called on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine, ending the invasion that began on February 24.
Ten countries voted in favor of the resolution, while China, Gabon, India and Brazil abstained.
Not a single country voted with Russia. Thomas Greenfield told reporters after the meeting that nobody.
The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, who raised his hand to indicate the only vote against the resolution, said the regions where Moscow had seized territory by force and where fighting was still raging, had chosen to be part of Russia.
“There will be no retreat as today’s draft resolution will try to impose,” Nebenzia said at the meeting.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Sergei Kislitsya, said the only hand raised against the resolution “testifies once again to Russia’s isolation and its desperate attempts to deny reality in our common commitments, starting with the UN Charter”.
The UK’s envoy, Barbara Woodward, said Russia had “abused its veto to defend its illegal actions” but said the annexation “has no legal effect”.
“It’s a fantasy,” she added.
James Bayes of Al Jazeera, in a report from the United Nations in New York, said in response to the resolution that the Russian representative “appeared questionable,” and it was not surprising that Russia then used its power as a permanent member of the Security Council to veto the resolution. Precision.
“But it is notable that four other members of the council decided not to support the resolution, and instead abstained – China, Brazil, Gabon and India,” Baez said.
Immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when the United Nations General Assembly voted at the beginning of March, 141 countries voted to denounce Russia’s actions. After the Security Council vote, and the abstention, some will question whether the high water level can ever be reached again.
Speak to the UK Ambassador to the UN Tweet embed After the Russian veto in the UN Security Council a draft resolution condemning the annexation of votes conducted in parts of occupied Ukraine.Tweet embed‘s Tweet embed Tell Tweet embed The issue will be presented to the General Assembly next week. pic.twitter.com/rLgfYcrVhs
– Amanda Price (@amandaruthprice) September 30, 2022
China abstained from the vote on the resolution, but it also raised concerns about a “protracted and protracted crisis” in Ukraine.
China has remained neutral on the conflict in Ukraine, criticizing Western sanctions against Russia but has not endorsed or assisted Moscow’s military campaign, despite the two countries declaring a “borderless” strategic partnership in February.
In a surprising admission, Putin recently said that Chinese leader Xi Jinping has concerns about Ukraine.
Beijing’s ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said that while “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be protected,” the “legitimate security concerns” of countries must also be taken seriously.
“Over seven months into the Ukrainian crisis, the crisis and its spillover effects have had a wide range of negative impacts. The possibility of a protracted and protracted crisis is also worrisome. China is deeply concerned about this possibility,” the ambassador said in a statement.
– Chinese Mission to the United Nations (@Chinamission2un) October 1, 2022
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said China’s abstention showed that Russia’s “hustle and bustle” and moves that threaten the territorial integrity of other countries put China in an “uncomfortable position”.
“We don’t have China’s involvement in this more aggressive agenda that Russia is trying to sell,” the official said.