Russia on Friday vetoed a resolution at the United Nations Security Council that would have condemned Russia’s claimed annexation of four Ukrainian regions after so-called referendums on joining the Russian Federation.
The referendums have been universally dismissed as “a sham” by Ukraine and Western nations.
The resolution would have denounced Russia's “organization of illegal so-called referenda in regions within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders” and declared that the referendums “have no validity.”
The resolution would have also called on Russia to “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”
Russia was the sole country to oppose the resolution.
Ten countries voted in favor: Albania, France, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Four countries abstained: Brazil, China, Gabon and India.
Speaking ahead of the vote, the US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield – who tabled the resolution along with her Albanian colleague – said it was aligned with the Security Council goals of defending sovereignty, protecting territorial integrity and ensuring peace and security.
“We’re talking about a UN member state, a Security Council member, attempting to annex part of another through force,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “The outcomes of these sham referenda were predetermined in Moscow, and everybody knows it. They were held behind the barrel of Russian guns.”
Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, said the results spoke for themselves.
“The overwhelming majority of those who voted supported the integration of these regions into Russia,” he said.