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 Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid