UN GEN­ERAL AS­SEM­BLY RE­JECTS CRIMEAN SE­CES­SION VOTE

SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES / NEWS IN BRIEF -

The UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly has re­jected the mid-March ref­er­en­dum held in the Crimean penin­sula that led to its an­nex­a­tion by Rus­sia, af­firm­ing its com­mit­ment to Ukraine’s unity and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity. The 193-na­tion as­sem­bly adopted a non-bind­ing res­o­lu­tion on the “ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of Ukraine”, by a vote of 100 in favour to 11 against, with 58 ab­sten­tions, call­ing on states, in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions and spe­cialised agencies not to recog­nise any change in the sta­tus of Crimea or the Black Sea port city of Sev­astopol. In

ad­di­tion, the as­sem­bly urged all par­ties to im­me­di­ately pur­sue a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of the sit­u­a­tion through di­rect po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue and to re­frain from uni­lat­eral ac­tions and in­flam­ma­tory rhetoric that could es­ca­late ten­sions. The 11 coun­tries that voted against the res­o­lu­tion were Rus­sia, Ar­me­nia, Be­larus, Bo­livia, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zim­babwe. Ukraine For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter An­driy Deshchyt­sia said that Rus­sia had forcibly an­nexed an in­te­gral part of Ukraine de­spite pre­vi­ously com­mit­ting it­self to guar­an­tee­ing its in­de­pen­dence, sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity. Rus­sian UN Am­bas­sador Vi­taly Churkin, how­ever, said the ref­er­en­dum had re­uni­fied Crimea with Rus­sia, and called on ev­ery­one “to re­spect that vol­un­tary choice”. Rus­sia could not refuse the Crimeans’ right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion, Churkin added. Rus­sia had pre­vi­ously pre­vented the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil from adopt­ing a sim­i­lar draft res­o­lu­tion that would have de­clared the Crimean ref­er­en­dum “in­valid” even be­fore it was held. Ac­cord­ing to Crimean au­thor­i­ties, more than 97 per cent of Crimeans had voted for uni­fi­ca­tion with Rus­sia in March 16’s ref­er­en­dum, prompt­ing Moscow to an­nex the Black Sea penin­sula.

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