UN Votes to Condemn Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The United Nations (UN) voted overwhelmingly to adopt a resolution on March 2 condemning the Russian invasion on Ukraine and called for Russia to immediately withdraw its forces.

Of the 193 member states, 141 countries voted in favor of the “Aggression Against Ukraine” resolution demanding Russia to “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”

Five countries — Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, and Syria — voted against the measure while 35 abstained.

“The message of the General Assembly is loud and clear: End hostilities in Ukraine now. Silence the guns now. Open the door to dialogue and diplomacy now,” UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid said, following the vote.

Although the resolution is not legally binding, the UN said it “reaffirms Ukrainian sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity” and it expresses the views of UN members on the invasion.

“It isn’t going to stop Russian forces in their stride, but it’s a pretty enormous diplomatic win for the Ukrainians and the U.S., and everyone who has got behind them,” UN Director at the International Crisis Group Richard Gowan told The Guardian.

However, Russian Permanent Representative Vasily Nebenzya made clear that Russia would continue on with its military offensive.

“This document will not allow us to end military activities,” Nebenzya said, placing the blame on “radicals and nationalists” in the Kyiv government for the fighting, according to The Guardian.

The vote marked the end of a rare special emergency session of the UN General Assembly, which began on Feb. 28 after Russia used its veto power in the UN Security Council to vote against a similar resolution, prompting Ukraine’s allies to refer the matter to the General Assembly.

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