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UN Adopts Updated Resolution To Safeguard Rights In Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit to Sevastopol, Crimea, in March
Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit to Sevastopol, Crimea, in March

The UN General Assembly on December 18 adopted a draft resolution seeking protection of human rights in Russian-occupied Crimea, according to Ukraine’s permanent mission to the international body in New York.

Sixty-five countries voted in favor of the resolution, 23 against, and 83 abstained.

Among the countries that opposed the document’s adoption were Russia, Belarus, Armenia, China, Venezuela, Syria, and Iran.

This resolution, combined with an earlier UN resolution adopted on Russia militarizing the Crimean Peninsula, adds to Kyiv’s political and diplomatic toolbox for restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity, Oleh Nikolenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s UN diplomatic mission, said on Facebook.

“Whatever they want in Moscow, the Crimean issue is not closed and will be kept on the international agenda,” Nikolenko said. “We have a clear understanding among partners that Russia’s illegal activity in and around Crimea concerns not only Ukraine’s interests but also their national security. Therefore, the pressure will remain.”

Russia in February 2014 sent in armed men without military insignia to take over Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and eventually annexed it in a referendum dismissed as illegal by at least 100 nations.

Moscow has justified the move as “historical justice.”

The core elements of the most recent UN resolution on Crimea reinforced the body’s definition of “aggression,” which states that “no territorial acquisition or special advantage resulting from aggression is or shall be recognized as lawful.”

It “strongly condemns mass detentions on terrorism grounds and other forms of repressions against human rights defenders, including against” Crimean activists.

The resolution condemns Russia for changing “the demographic structure of the population of Crimea” and urges Moscow to “stop transferring its own civilian population to Crimea.”

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