December 5, 2022

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Russia wants secret referendum: UN General Assembly debates annexations

Russia prefers secret ballot
UN General Assembly discusses annexations

In March, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Now the global community is once again deciding on the Kremlin’s actions. A vote on a resolution in New York is also seen as a global mood test. Russia is apparently expecting war fatigue.

Later in the evening, the UN General Assembly will begin discussions on Russia’s recent illegal annexation of parts of Ukraine. At the end of the session, which could drag on until Wednesday due to the large number of speakers, the 193-member body, the largest UN body, is set to vote on a resolution condemning Moscow.

Russia had previously called for a secret ballot – apparently hoping for a better outcome. Top diplomats describe it as an unprecedented move that is unlikely to gain enough support.

A few days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin completed annexing the partially occupied regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Cherson with his signature. As expected, the UN A resolution of condemnation tabled by the United States and other countries in the Security Council was vetoed by Moscow. The process was then transferred to the General Assembly. Adoption of the system requires the support of two-thirds of the voting countries.

A clear majority is likely

A draft resolution condemned Russia’s actions as aggression and a “violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity”. It said the referendums were illegal, “not valid under international law and do not constitute a basis for changing the status of these regions of Ukraine”. Russia is violating the UN Charter and must withdraw its actions and withdraw from Ukraine.

A clear majority is expected when the UN General Assembly votes, but the text must be measured against two previous results: In March, the assembly rejected Russia’s invasion with a historic majority of 141 votes, with only four states opposing the Kremlin’s side. . In 2014, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, 100 member states committed to a resolution emphasizing Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Western diplomats, every U.N. The member state also insisted that it should be self-interested in condemning Russia, which would not fall victim to the illegal annexation of a neighboring state. On the other hand, observers see war fatigue in many countries, especially in Africa and Latin America, for some time. Some of them find that the war in Ukraine is distracting from other regional conflicts and global crises and hindering progress.

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