News / Europe

UN General Assembly Rejects Crimea Annexation

UN General Assembly Rejects Crimea Annexationi
X
March 27, 2014 10:26 PM
A majority of U.N. member states told Russia Thursday that they will not recognize the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. As VOA United Nations correspondent Margaret Besheer reports, 100 countries in the U.N. General Assembly voted in favor, 11 rejected the resolution, and 58 abstained.
Margaret Besheer
— A majority of U.N. member states told Moscow Thursday that they will not recognize the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

In a vote on a resolution put forward by Ukraine and nearly 50 co-sponsors, 100 member states reaffirmed their support for Ukraine’s unity and territorial sovereignty.  They also underscored that the March 16 referendum in the Crimea region was invalid.  That referendum was watched over by Russian troops and led to Crimea’s annexation by Moscow last week.
 
Ukraine’s interim foreign minister, Andrii Deshchytsia, told the meeting that Russia’s actions violate the U.N. Charter.
 
"Many still struggle to grasp the reality - it happened in Ukraine, in the very heart of Europe.  It happened in the 21st century," said Deshchytsia.
 
General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding like Security Council ones, but they do carry the moral weight of the international community.
 
Many delegations expressed support for Ukraine, including the United States.  Ambassador Samantha Power said the resolution supports the belief that “borders are not mere suggestions.”
 
“We have always said that Russia had legitimate interests in Ukraine; it has been disheartening in the extreme to see Russia carry on as if Ukrainians have no legitimate interests in Crimea, when Crimea is a part of Ukraine," said Power.

 
A digital display shows the results of a vote on a draft resolution upholding the territorial integrity of Ukraine at United Nations headquarters, March 27, 2014.A digital display shows the results of a vote on a draft resolution upholding the territorial integrity of Ukraine at United Nations headquarters, March 27, 2014.
x
A digital display shows the results of a vote on a draft resolution upholding the territorial integrity of Ukraine at United Nations headquarters, March 27, 2014.
A digital display shows the results of a vote on a draft resolution upholding the territorial integrity of Ukraine at United Nations headquarters, March 27, 2014.
The 28 nations of the European Union expressed united support for Kyiv.  European Union Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting said the bloc condemned Russia’s military aggression.
 
“The European Union urges Russia to take steps to de-escalate the crisis, immediately withdraw its forces back to their pre-crisis numbers and garrisons in line with its international commitments; avail itself of all relevant international mechanisms to find a peaceful and negotiated solution in full respect of its bilateral and multilateral commitments to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," said Mayr-Harting.
 
Ten countries sided with Moscow in voting ‘no,’ including Syria, North Korea and Cuba.

Among the countries abstaining were China and several African and Latin American countries.  
 
Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin said the resolution was “confrontational” and unnecessary and told reporters that the 58 abstentions show increasing support for Russia’s position.
 
"Even though this resolution which we opposed was adopted by the General Assembly, I think it is a moral victory for the Russian diplomacy because an increasing number of countries are beginning to understand the complexity of the situation and the motives behind the actions of Crimea and the Russian Federation," said Churkin.
 
But speaking to VOA after the vote, the Ukrainian foreign minister disagreed, saying support is growing globally for his country.
 
“The International community support is growing and becoming wider and more concrete," said  Deshchytsia.
 
He said that support includes economic sanctions that the European Union and United States have imposed on Russian individuals and former Ukrainian officials.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid