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

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid