Russia-Ukraine crisis: UNSC to vote on resolution against Moscow's annexation referenda

The meeting is ahead of another discussion on the mysterious leaks discovered in the Nord Stream gas pipeline, off the coasts of Sweden and Denmark


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Published: Fri 30 Sep 2022, 8:01 AM

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council will vote on a resolution against Moscow's referendums on annexing several Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, the council's current president country, France, said on Thursday.

The resolution — drafted by the United States and Albania — has no chance of being passed, due to Moscow's veto power, though it can then be presented to the General Assembly.

The resolution — seen by AFP — is against "the Russian Federation's organisation of illegal so-called referenda" in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, saying that these "have no validity", and "cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of these regions", including "any purported annexation".

It called on member states not to recognise any annexation of the areas, and demanded Moscow to "immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine".

The meeting is set for 19.00 GMT on Friday, ahead of another discussion on the leaks discovered in the Nord Stream gas pipeline, and the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin is to hold a formal ceremony at the Kremlin, on the annexations.

Despite the certainty of Russia's veto on the resolution, all eyes will be on the responses from India and China.

The two countries in February abstained from voting on a resolution condemning the Russia-Ukraine tensions, but earlier this week, China called for the "territorial integrity" of all countries to be respected.

The Western nations "are quietly confident that there will be strong support for Ukraine's territorial integrity in the General Assembly", Richard Gowen, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, told AFP.

"I think a lot of countries were starting to back off from support for Ukraine at the UN as the war dragged on, but by putting annexation and territorial integrity on the table ... [Russia] will force a lot of wavering states to back Ukraine again," Gowen added.

The General Assembly voted on resolutions regarding the Ukraine war three times this spring, with the final vote in April showing some signs of loosening international unity against Moscow.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday dismissed the annexations as a "dangerous escalation" that had "no place in the modern world".


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