The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a non-binding resolution declaring the referendum and annexation of Crimea illegal. While it appears that the U.S. and its European align accept the annexation of Crimea as a “fait accompli,” they hope the resolution will deter Russia from seizing more of the Ukraine.
The resolution “affirms commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”
It also calls on UN member states “to desist and refrain from actions aimed at the partial or total disruption” of Ukraine’s national unity.
100 hundred member countries votes in favor of the resolution, while 11 voted against it. Only 168 of 193 member countries were present. The countries that voted against the resolution were, Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
There are fears by the U.S. and its European allies that Russia intends to invade Eastern Ukraine and possibly Moldova. A massive troop built-up of 80,000 Russian troops, who are conducting exercise drills, according Russia, has given way to fears of a Russian invasion. U.S. lawmakers, part of the House Armed Services Committee, have written a letter to President Obama, urging much stronger action, including putting American forces on alert. The letter falls short of military intervention, but asks for much tougher sanctions.
RT reports that the vote proves that fears of Russia’s international “isolation,” due to the events in Crimea, are groundless, Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, told RIA Novosti. It also says that the vote is unbinding and as such only expresses global opinion.
Russia Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, called the vote confrontational and that it undermines the referendum and right to self-determination. He said the initiative to reunite with Russia came from the Crimean people and not from Moscow.
The LA Time opines that the referendum provided another indication of Russia’s diplomatic isolation over its annexation of Crimea. On March 15 the UN Security Council voted for a resolution that called the referendum illegal. 13 council members voted for the resolution, while China abstained. Russia vetoed the resolution.
The U.N. vote actually showed that Russia was not internationally isolated on the issue, Churkin said.
“Very many countries complained that they were undergoing colossal pressure on the part of Western powers to vote in support of that resolution,” Churkin told ITAR-TASS. “The result is quite good for us as we achieved a moral and political victory.”]
Source: LA Times
Western leaders have all but conceded that there will not be a reversal on the annexation of Crimea, but hope that economic sanctions will further isolate Russia and stop Putin from incursions into Eastern Ukraine.