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the Security Council votes a resolution condemning the “referendums” this Friday

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The UN Security Council will vote on Friday on a resolution condemning the “referendums” of annexation of several Ukrainian regions and demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops, a text which has no chance of being adopted because of the right of veto Russian. The meeting will take place on Friday at 3:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT), before another planned discussion on the leaks discovered on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, said the French Presidency of the Council.

The draft text seen by AFP “condemns the organization by the Russian Federation of so-called illegal referendums” in the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhya, and judges that they can have “no validity” nor “serve as a basis for any alteration of the status of these regions”, “including any purported annexation” by Russia. The draft resolution prepared by the United States and Albania calls on all states and other organizations “not to recognize an alleged annexation” of the four regions by Russia.

“No place in the modern world”

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It also demands that Moscow “immediately cease” its invasion of Ukraine and “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all its military forces” from the country. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres unequivocally denounced Thursday the imminence of Russian annexations, believing that they have “no place in the modern world”. If the Russian veto is not in doubt during Friday’s vote, it is above all the position of China, sometimes accused by the West of being too conciliatory with Russia, which will be examined with attention. Beijing, officially neutral, repeated this week its call for respect for the territorial integrity “of all countries”. India’s position will also be closely monitored.

The two countries had abstained in February the day after the Russian invasion, when Russia had vetoed in the Council a resolution denouncing its “aggression” of Ukraine. In announcing this resolution on Tuesday, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield had anticipated the use of Russia’s veto “to protect herself”. “So we will turn to the General Assembly to send an unambiguous message to Moscow,” she promised.

Too much attention on Ukraine?

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This subsequent vote in the General Assembly, where none of the 193 member states has a veto, will make it possible to assess the degree of isolation of Russia, while some developing countries are annoyed that the West is concentrating all its watch out for Ukraine. Westerners are “relatively confident of getting strong support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the General Assembly,” Richard Gowan, an analyst with the NGO International Crisis Group, told AFP. “A lot of countries were starting to withdraw their support for Ukraine (…) but by putting annexation and territorial integrity on the table (Vladimir) Putin will force a number of hesitant states to return to the camp of the Ukraine. Ukraine”, in particular certain African states, he added, believing that the Russian president had made a “fundamental diplomatic error”.

In the spring, the General Assembly had voted three resolutions concerning the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the third at the end of April having resulted in an erosion of international unity vis-à-vis Moscow. On March 2, during a first historic vote, 141 countries had condemned the Russian invasion, 5 countries voting against (Russia, Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea), 35 abstaining. On March 24, the Assembly called for unimpeded humanitarian access and the protection of civilians in Ukraine: 140 votes for, five against (the same five) and 38 countries had chosen to abstain.

On April 7, only 93 countries had supported Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council, with 24 voting against and 58 abstaining.

Source: Europe1

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