Saturday, August 30, 2014


Russia

Moscow Condemns UN Resolution On Ukraine

Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin (center) called the UN vote a "moral victory" for Russia. (file photo)
Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin (center) called the UN vote a "moral victory" for Russia. (file photo)
By RFE/RL
Russia's Foreign Ministry has issued a statement condemning the adoption of a resolution "On the Territorial Integrity of Ukraine" by the United Nations General Assembly.
 
The ministry posted the statement on March 28, saying that the previous day's resolution was "counterproductive" and "will only complicate efforts to regulate the internal political crisis in Ukraine."
 
The statement criticized the "deep interference of a number of Western countries in Ukraine's affairs," which it said has led to a breakdown of the rule of law and massive human rights violations.
 
The statement said the UN resolution -- which passed by a vote of 100 to 11, with 58 abstentions -- was an attempt by the West to pass blame for the situation onto Russia.
 
The 11 that voted against the resolution were Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Russia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
 
Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia said the vote shows "the world is united and Russia is isolated." He added that the resolution gives support for "stronger and more concrete action" against Moscow.
 
Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, however, called the vote a "moral victory" for Russia, saying he found it "encouraging" that "almost half" of UN member countries "refused to support" the measure.
 
British Foreign Secretary William Hague called the resolution "a strong message" for Moscow that it "cannot simply trample over international law."
 
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power also emphasized the need to respect Ukraine's borders ahead of the March 27 General Assembly vote.
 
"The resolution before us is about one issue and one issue only -- and that is affirming our commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine," she said. "Through it, we made clear our ongoing support for the fundamental idea that borders are not mere suggestions."
 
Power also praised Kyiv for ensuring the situation had not escalated further.
 
"Ukraine merits our commendations for the restraint it has shown," she said. "And the positive steps it has taken to prevent a further escalation of the crisis and Ukraine deserves our full support in trying to persuade Russia to end its isolation and to move from a policy of unilateral confrontation and aggressive acts to a good-faith diplomatic effort informed by facts, facilitated by dialogue, and based on law."
 
The European Union's ambassador to the UN, Thomas Mayr Hartig stressed that the bloc does not recognize Russia's taking possession of Crimea, which he said was illegal.
 
"The European Union does not recognize the illegal referendum in Crimea, which is in clear violation of the Ukrainian constitution," he said. "It strongly condemns the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation and will not recognize it. The European Union firmly believes that there is no place for the use of force and coercion to change borders in Europe or elsewhere in the 21st century."
 
The General Assembly resolution is nonbinding, but is considered a reflection of world opinion.
 
Speaking in Italy on March 27, U.S. President Barack Obama noted Russia's "growing isolation" as the Ukraine crisis continues.
 
With reporting by Reuters, AP, and mid.ru

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