Africa-Press – Botswana. The UN General Assembly on Wednesday condemned with an “overwhelming” majority the “illegal annexations” of Ukrainian territories, and, according to Joe Biden, sent a “clear message” to Moscow.
The General Assembly of 193 Member States, meeting in emergency since Monday, adopted this resolution with 143 votes in favor, against five countries against and 35 who abstained, including China, India, Pakistan and South Africa. South, despite diplomatic efforts by the United States.
“143 nations have stood on the side of freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the US president said in a statement, saying Russia could “not wipe a sovereign state off the map.”
The five states that voted against are, unsurprisingly, Russia, Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Nicaragua.
Compared to a March vote condemning the invasion of Ukraine, support for Russia has eroded ever so slightly, with two more votes against Moscow.
Bangladesh, Iraq and Senegal, which abstained in March, this time voted to condemn Russia.
Eritrea, which rejected the resolution in March, abstained this time.
Nicaragua, which is coming under ever-increasing criticism from the international community in terms of human rights, has taken the opposite path, since it abstained in March and this time refused to condemn Moscow.
With this text, co-drafted by the European Union and presented by Ukraine, the West, led by Washington, intended to demonstrate that President Vladimir Putin was “isolated” on the international scene, seven months after the outbreak of war. in Ukraine.
The head of the American diplomacy Antony Blinken had previously welcomed in a press release to see “an overwhelming majority of nations at the side of Ukraine, in the defense of the UN charter and the resolute opposition to the war of Russia against Ukraine and its people”.
– “It could be you” –
Before the vote, its UN ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield had urged as many countries as possible not to abstain: “Today Russia is invading Ukraine. But tomorrow the territory of another nation could be violated. It could be you. You could be the next country, launched the diplomat at the podium of the United Nations.
His French counterpart Nicolas de Rivière added: “By invading its neighbour, Russia has decided to pave the way for other wars of annexation. What is happening today in Europe can happen tomorrow elsewhere: in Asia , in Africa, in Latin America”.
And for the Briton Barbara Woodward, “Russia has failed on the battlefield and at the UN. (…) Russia has isolated itself. (…) We must now stop the war”.
The resolution “condemns the attempted illegal annexations” of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson after “alleged illegal referendums” and stresses that these actions have “no validity” under international law.
The text also calls for no state to recognize these annexations and calls for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine who entered on February 24.
The UN “demands that the Russian Federation immediately and unconditionally reverse its decision of September 29” relating to the integration of Ukrainian regions into Russia. These annexations constitute a “violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine”.
On September 30, Moscow used its veto to block the same resolution in the Security Council condemning the annexations in Ukraine. Apart from the Russian veto, the text had collected 10 votes for out of the 15 members of the Council. China, India, Brazil and Gabon had abstained and the West had already touted proof of Russia’s isolation.
“Russia tried to silence the Security Council, but it couldn’t silence the UN General Assembly,” EU ambassador to the UN Olof Skoog told reporters. after the vote.