UN General Assembly endorses resolution to end Ukraine war
Nearly three-quarters of member states endorse a resolution calling for a ‘just and lasting’ peace as SA joins China and India among abstentions
New York — The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly isolated Russia on Thursday, marking one year since Moscow invaded Ukraine by calling for a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace” and again demanding Russia withdraw its troops and stop fighting.
Just a day after China’s top diplomat visited Moscow and pledged a deeper partnership with Russia, Beijing abstained on the vote — the fourth time it has done so on such action since the Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 last year.
The resolution was adopted on Thursday with 141 votes in favour and 32 abstentions. Six countries joined Russia to vote no — Belarus, North Korea, Syria, Mali, Eritrea and Nicaragua.
SA, China, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and much of Africa and Central Asia were among the abstentions.
General Assembly resolutions are not binding but carry symbolic weight. Unlike at the Security Council, Russia cannot unilaterally veto them.
Earlier, China’s deputy ambassador Dai Bing told the UN that one year into the Ukraine war “brutal facts offer an ample proof that sending weapons will not bring peace”.
Western powers have provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in weapons since Russia invaded.
The US and Nato have in the past week accused China of considering supplying arms to Russia and warned Beijing against such a move. China has dismissed the accusations.
China’s top diplomat Wang Yi pledged a deeper partnership with Russia during his visit.
The EU’s top foreign affairs official Josep Borrell met Wang in Munich last week. He said he asked Wang about the possibility of Chinese military support for Russia.
“He was very clear and assertive,” Borrell told reporters at the UN on Thursday, noting that the pair have had a good personal relationship for many years.
“I can only repeat what he told me: China is not providing arms for Russia and it will not provide arms to Russia because it’s part of their foreign policy not to arm parties in a conflict,” he said. “We have to remain vigilant.”
Since Moscow invaded its neighbour thousands have died and millions have been displaced.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly hinted that Russia could use a nuclear weapon if threatened.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.