AA / Washington / Servet Gunerigok
The UN Security Council voted on Sunday to convene a special session of the General Assembly on Monday to discuss Russia’s military action in Ukraine.
The resolution calling for this exceptional extraordinary session was approved by 11 countries, with Russia voting against and three countries – India, the United Arab Emirates and China – abstaining.
In her intervention after the voting procedure, which requires a majority of nine members for the resolution to be adopted, the American representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield recalled that the draft resolution of the UN Security Council , which would have condemned Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, was blocked by Russia on Friday.
“Russia vetoed Friday’s resolution. But as I said before, Russia cannot veto our votes. Russia cannot veto the Ukrainian people and Russia cannot not veto the UN Charter. Russia cannot and will not veto the notion of accountability,” she said.
“Today, for the first time in decades, the Security Council has taken an important step towards this accountability,” she added, explaining that “the members of the Council who supported this resolution recognize that this is no ordinary occurrence.”
Ukraine’s representative to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, expressed his gratitude to member states who supported the convening of an emergency session of the UN General Assembly.
Addressing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the Ukrainian representative said: “It is extremely alarming that the Russian President has resorted to overt nuclear blackmail today. The world must take this threat very seriously”.
For Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s representative to the UN, the current crisis erupted because UN members “turned a blind eye to the crimes perpetrated by Ukrainian nationalists in the Donbass” and not because of the launch of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.
“The Russian army is not threatening civilians in Ukraine. It is not bombing civilian infrastructure. Ukrainian nationalists pose a threat to civilians and they are now using them as human shields,” Nebenzia said.
Drafted by the United States and Albania, Friday’s resolution sought to hold Russia to account for its aggression towards Ukraine, reaffirm that country’s sovereignty and demand that Moscow withdraw its forces.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday a “special military operation” in Ukraine, a few days after recognizing two separatist enclaves in the east of the country.
He claimed that Moscow had no intention of occupying its neighbor, but wanted to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine.
Western powers retaliated by imposing financial sanctions on Moscow and announcing military and humanitarian support for Kiev.
*Translated from English by Mourad Belhaj
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