Russia on Friday, as expected, vetoed, during a vote in the UN Security Council, a resolution co-written by the United States and Albania deploring in “the strongest terms” its ” aggression against Ukraine” and calling on it to “immediately” withdraw its troops from that country.
Of the 15 members of the Council, 11 countries voted in favor of the text, three abstained: China, India and the United Arab Emirates.
The project had been softened in the hours preceding the ballot to “secure” abstentions and prevent these three countries from voting no, according to a diplomat. The proposed text thus no longer included the term “condemn”, replaced by “deplore”. A reference to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which provides for the possible use of force, was also deleted.
A similar resolution should be submitted in the coming days to a vote of the UN General Assembly (193 members) where the right of veto does not exist, according to diplomats.
Some ambassadors believe that in view of the ongoing “disaster” in Ukraine, a favorable vote could garner the support of more than a hundred countries in the General Assembly.
Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, Russia, accused by the West and the head of the UN of violating the Charter of the United Nations, claims to act in self-defense under the terms of the article 51 of the Organization’s founding document. Only the five permanent members of the Security Council (United States, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom) have a right of veto in the Security Council.
The US-Albanian resolution had co-sponsored by some 70 countries. It provided, in addition to a strong criticism of Russia, to reaffirm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, and to oblige Russia to cease “the use of force” and to withdraw “immediately, completely and unconditionally all its military forces” of this country.