News / Europe

UN Will Treat Crimea as Part of Ukraine, Not Russia - Diplomats

FILE - A Russian serviceman stands guard behind a wall featuring Ukraine's national flag and words of its national anthem at the Belbek Sevastopol International Airport in Crimea, March 4, 2014.
FILE - A Russian serviceman stands guard behind a wall featuring Ukraine's national flag and words of its national anthem at the Belbek Sevastopol International Airport in Crimea, March 4, 2014.
Reuters
In a diplomatic blow to Russia, the United Nations will continue to view Crimea as part of Ukraine in line with a General Assembly resolution adopted last week, the United States and Western diplomats said on Wednesday.
 
The 193-nation assembly on March 28 declared invalid the Moscow-backed referendum across Crimea that led to the Black Sea peninsula's secession from Ukraine and annexation to Russia. There were 100 votes in favor, 11 against, 58 abstentions and 24 countries that did not vote.
 
Although the resolution is not enforceable in the way that U.N. Security Council resolutions can be, its adoption means the entire United Nations system will continue to recognize Kyiv's authority over the Crimean peninsula and ignore Russian claims to the territory.
 
“It [the resolution] has real legal consequences because now, legally, the U.N. finding ... is that the [Crimean] referendum was illegitimate,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told the Senate Appropriations Committee in Washington on Wednesday.
 
That determination, several Western diplomats said on condition of anonymity, has been confirmed by the U.N. Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) in the wake of the assembly vote.
 
OLA routinely gives legal advice for the U.N. system on how the world body should interact with and refer to disputed territories.

UNGA sealed deal

A senior Western diplomat said last week's General Assembly resolution “has solidified the U.N. position” that Kyiv's authority over Crimea continues to be recognized.
 
“The OLA has now made clear that as far as the U.N. system is concerned, Crimea remains part of Ukraine,” he said. “That is obviously significant for a whole variety of reasons.”
 
The Russians, he said, were already trying to assert their control over Crimea throughout the U.N. system, specifically with at the International Maritime Organization and the International Postal Union.
 
“The IPU is a big one, the International Postal Union, where the Russian Postal Service is claiming the only right to deliver post in Crimea,” the diplomat told reporters.
 
“Now that there is this clear resolution by the General Assembly, the system can push back and say no, I'm sorry, as far as the U.N. is concerned, Crimea remains part of Ukraine,” the diplomat said.
 
Several diplomats said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was backing Ukrainian claims to Crimea in his public remarks on Friday when asked how the world body looked upon Russia's annexation of the territory. He told reporters, “The United Nations is guided by the General Assembly resolution.”

The General Assembly resolution approved last week, which echoed a text Moscow vetoed last month in the Security Council, called on countries to not recognize Crimea as anything other than Ukrainian territory.
 
The assembly resolution dismissed Crimea's March 16 referendum as “having no validity, [and one that] cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea or of the City of Sevastopol."

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid