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UN General Assembly condemns annexations

The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly condemned Russia's annexations in Ukraine.

143 of the 193 member states voted in favor of a corresponding resolution – five countries voted against, 35 abstained.

The UN General Assembly has condemned Russia’s “illegal annexations” in Ukraine by a large majority. 143 UN member states voted in favor of a corresponding resolution at an emergency session, five against. 35 countries abstained, including China, India, South Africa and Pakistan. The decision is not binding under international law, but it shows Moscow’s clear international isolation.

The resolution condemns and invalidates Russia’s annexation. In addition, the Kremlin is asked to reverse the incorporation of the partially occupied regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Cherson.

Clearer result than previous resolutions

The result was higher than the 141 votes in the general assembly to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March – and the 100 votes for a similar resolution after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Also Brazil, Turkey and Saudi Arabia voted for the resolution.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanked the 143 countries that voted for the resolution on Twitter. The strong result exceeded even the forecasts of the biggest western optimists. Before the vote, observers had assumed that in many countries, especially in Africa and Latin America, a certain degree of war weariness and dependence on Russia could lead to less support for the resolution. Some states find that the Ukraine war is marginalizing other devastating conflicts and preventing progress.

Germany: “annexations null and void”

Before the vote, Germany had called for Russia to condemn the annexations of the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Cherson and Zaporizhia. “The sham referendums and Russia’s illegal annexations are null and void,” said German diplomat Michael Geisler.

The United States had also called for a clear condemnation of the annexations. “Today it is Russia invading Ukraine. But tomorrow it could be another nation whose territory is violated. It could be you. You could be next,” said US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield. The borders of every country – big or small – are protected by international law.

At the end of September, Russia vetoed a resolution condemning the annexations in the UN Security Council. In the UN General Assembly, on the other hand, Russia has no right of veto.

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