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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid