Russia on Friday vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution of which it was a target, effectively blocking the action of the panel, the body responsible for protecting and maintaining international peace.
The resolution, written and presented by the United States and dozens of its allies, strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and calls on Moscow to immediately withdraw its troops and provide safe access to relief work. humanitarian.
Eleven member states voted in favor of the resolution. China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstained. Russia, which has veto power as one of the council’s five permanent members, voted against.
“Russia, you can veto this resolution, but you cannot veto our voice,” said US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “You cannot refute the truth. You cannot veto our guidelines. You cannot veto the Ukrainian people. You cannot veto the Charter of the United Nations. And you won’t veto accountability.”
The United States knew in advance that Russia would veto the resolution. But US officials hope that by doing so, Russia will demonstrate isolation and disregard for the UN charter.
Russia appeared unfazed. Its ambassador thanked the three countries that abstained. He dismissed it as a Western conspiracy and diplomatic efforts to hold it accountable. He denied that Russia had targeted civilian infrastructure in Ukraine and then attacked the United States for its own military attacks, inferring the 2003 US invasion of Iraq for money. The suggestion that Saddam Hussein was harboring chemical weapons turned out to be untrue.
Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said: “It is very difficult for us to compete with the US in terms of aggression. “You have no right to talk about morality.”
Diplomats say the UN General Assembly will act next week on a resolution condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine. States have no veto power in the General Assembly, but its resolutions are symbolic and not legally binding like those of the Security Council.
China’s abstention is not a surprise. China has taken a bipartisan approach to the conflict, calling for easing tensions and respecting sovereignty but not condemning Russia.
Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun said: “In the context of five consecutive rounds of NATO expansion, Russia’s legitimate security aspirations need to be properly cared for and addressed. power. ”
Understanding Russia’s Attack on Ukraine
What is the root cause of this invasion? Russia considers Ukraine to be within its natural sphere of influence, and it is extremely worried about Ukraine’s proximity to the West and the prospect of it joining NATO or the European Union. Although Ukraine is also not included in this category, it receives financial and military aid from the United States and Europe.
But the abstention of India and the United Arab Emirates, a US ally in the Middle East, came as a surprise. Both countries said they did not vote in favor of the resolution because it would have closed the door to a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
Brazil voted in favor of the resolution and condemned Russia’s aggression. Their ambassador said the country had sought in last-minute negotiations to make changes to the text of the resolution to “balance” the language and leave space for diplomacy.
The council meeting ended with Ukraine’s ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, asking for a moment of silence to pray for peace and honor those who have died or may have died.
“I invite the Russian ambassador to pray for salvation,” Kyslytsya said. A minute of silence was followed by loud applause.
Diplomats spoke to the media after the meeting ended. The European Union’s representative, Olof Skoog, said Russia’s veto was “another proof of Russia’s isolation and blatant disrespect for the world”.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/world/europe/united-nations-russia-withdraw-ukraine.html Russia vetoes UN Security Council resolution calling on it to withdraw from Ukraine