WASHINGTON: A resolution introduced by the United States and Albania at the United Nations Security Council condemning Russia’s proclaimed annexation of parts of Ukraine was rejected on Friday after Russia exercised its veto.
In a vote in the council’s chamber on Friday afternoon, 10 nations, including the United States and Britain, voted in favour, while China, Gabon, India and Brazil abstained from voting.
Russia’s was the only vote against the resolution.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday proclaimed Russian rule over four regions that make up 15 per cent of Ukraine’s territory - the biggest annexation in Europe since World War Two. The move has been firmly rejected by Western countries and even many of Russia’s close allies.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield introduced the resolution that called on member states not to recognize any altered status of Ukraine and obligate Russia to withdraw its troops.
Washington has signalled it would look to the UN General Assembly, the majority of which voted to condemn Russia’s February 24 military intervention in Ukraine, if the resolution failed.
“This is exactly what the Security Council was made to do. Defend sovereignty, protect territorial integrity, promote peace and security,” Thomas-Greenfield, said at the start of the meeting.
“The United Nations was built on an idea that never again would one country be allowed to take another’s territory by force,” she said.
Russia’s ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, complained that it was unprecedented to seek condemnation of a permanent member of the Security Council.
“Do you seriously expect Russia to consider and support such a draft? And if not, then it turns out that you are intentionally pushing us to use the right of the veto in order to then wax lyrical about the fact that Russia abuses this right,” Nebenzia said.
The resolution would have condemned the “illegal” referendums held in parts of Ukraine and call on all states not to recognise any changes to Ukraine’s borders.
It also would have called on Russia to withdraw troops immediately from Ukraine.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier Friday said that the United States would seek a vote at the General Assembly.
“If Russia blocks the Security Council from carrying out its responsibilities, we’ll ask the UN General Assembly, where every country has a vote, to make clear that it’s unacceptable to redraw borders by force,” Blinken told reporters in Washington.
“Every country has a stake in condemning these steps,” he said.