Ukraine: The Security Council will vote on a resolution this Friday condemning the “referendums”.

Ukraine: The Security Council will vote on a resolution this Friday condemning the “referendums”.

The UN Security Council will on Friday vote on a resolution condemning “referendums” on the annexation of several Ukrainian regions and calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops, a text that has no chance of passage because of Russia’s veto power. The meeting will take place at 15:00 (19:00 GMT) on Friday, ahead of another scheduled discussion on the leaks discovered at the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, the French Presidency said.

The draft text, seen by AFP, “condemns the Russian Federation’s organization of so-called illegal referendums” in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhya regions, judging that they “have no validity” or “can serve as a basis for”. any change in the status of these regions”, “including any alleged annexation” by Russia. The draft resolution, prepared by the United States and Albania, calls on all states and other organizations to “not recognize” “an alleged annexation” of the four regions by Russia.

“No place in the modern world”

It also demands that Moscow “immediately end” its invasion of Ukraine and “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its armed forces” from the country. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday unequivocally denounced the forthcoming Russian annexations because he believes they have “no place in the modern world”. Unless Russia’s veto is questioned in Friday’s vote, China’s position, sometimes accused by the West of being too forgiving towards Russia, will be the focus of attention. Beijing, officially neutral, this week reiterated its call for respect for the territorial integrity of “all countries”. India’s position is also being closely watched.

The two countries abstained the day after Russia’s invasion in February, when Russia vetoed a Council resolution denouncing its “aggression” against Ukraine. When the resolution was announced on Tuesday, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield expected Russia’s veto would be used “for its own protection.” “Therefore, we will address the General Assembly to send a clear message to Moscow,” she promised.

Too much attention for Ukraine?

This subsequent vote in the General Assembly, with none of the 193 member states having a veto, will make it possible to gauge Russia’s degree of isolation, while some developing countries fret that the West is focusing all its attention on Ukraine. Westerners are “relatively confident of gaining strong support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the General Assembly,” Richard Gowan, an analyst at the NGO International Crisis Group, told AFP. “Many countries started withdrawing their support for Ukraine (…), but by putting annexation and territorial integrity on the table (Vladimir), Putin will force many reluctant states to return to Ukraine’s camp. Ukraine”, especially African states, he added, believing that the Russian president made a “fundamental diplomatic error”.

In the spring, the General Assembly passed three resolutions on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the third at the end of April eroded international unity with Moscow. On March 2, in a first historic vote, 141 countries condemned the Russian invasion, 5 countries voted against (Russia, Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea) and 35 abstained. On March 24, the assembly called for unimpeded humanitarian access and protection of civilians in Ukraine: 140 votes in favor, five against (the same five), and 38 countries abstained.

As of April 7, only 93 countries supported Russia’s expulsion from the UN Human Rights Council, 24 voted against and 58 abstained.


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