China votes with Russia as UN Security Council rejects Ukraine resolution

The United Nations Security Council defeated a draft resolution by Russia that called attention to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, but failed to mention its role as an aggressor, with China casting a sole vote in favor of the ambiguous text. , which was completely shut down by the other delegates. ,

Wednesday’s session in New York came as the war in Ukraine entered its 29th day. The resolution sought to protect civilians as well as humanitarian corridors, but council members saw it as an attempt by Moscow to absolve itself of responsibility for escalating the conflict too much.

Russia needed at least nine “yes” votes and no veto to adopt the draft. Permanent members are France, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the remaining non-permanent council members being Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway and the United Arab Emirates.

China’s ambassador Zhang Jun, who sided with Russia in casting only a “yes” vote, expressed his support for the need to address the crisis with a consensus on humanitarian grounds, even as political differences remain. He did not deviate from Beijing’s position of not describing the military campaign as war or invasion, nor did he mention Russia’s role as the initiator of the conflict.

Members of the United Nations Security Council vote on a draft resolution introduced by Russia at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on March 23, 2022. The Security Council defeated a draft resolution highlighting the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine without designating Russia as the aggressor. ,
David De Delgado / Getty Images

“It is the shared desire of the international community for an immediate ceasefire, which is also China’s strong expectation,” Zhang said. “It is regrettable that the Security Council has been unable to finally reach the broadest possible agreement.”

Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzia, who said the US and British delegations had “torpedoed” an earlier draft that also failed to condemn Moscow, said the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine would only help the council adopt its text. Failure will result in spoilage.

“This would allow the Ukrainian side to ignore demands for a ceasefire necessary to evacuate people via the humanitarian route. Kyiv will continue to use civilians as a ‘human shield’ and, contrary to international humanitarian law, surrounding Will keep heavy weapons in the area of ​​hospitals and kindergartens,” Nebenzia said.

His view was not shared by the vast majority of other members present in the session, which also considered two competing proposals that would be placed in Parliament. United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. Both texts deal with the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine, but one mentions Russia’s part as the invading party while the other does not. Moscow is expected to vote in favor of the latter.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the Russian delegation had attempted to use the Security Council vote as cover for its actions. “It is virtually unconscionable that Russia would have the audacity to pursue a resolution asking the international community to resolve a humanitarian crisis that Russia alone created,” she said.

Thomas-Greenfield said, “Russia aggressor, aggressor, aggressor—the only party in Ukraine engaged in a campaign of brutality against the people of Ukraine—and they want us to pass a resolution that does not acknowledge their culpability.” Is.” whose comments were echoed by others.

In Tweet She said: “The Security Council speaks many languages, but tonight, we sent a unified message on Russia’s absurd proposal. Russia must now end its attacks on Ukraine.”

Albania’s permanent representative, Ferrit Hoxha, was equally acrimonious, saying that Russia does not need to propose a resolution for a ceasefire that it can achieve itself. “We didn’t fall into this kind of trap, we didn’t accept this kind of joke.

“Russia is the only and unique cause of this terrible human condition that it has created out of its passion. It cannot share this responsibility with the victim, Ukraine or anyone else,” Hoxha said.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s ambassador Harold Eggman offered remarks that rely on the credible voices of UN member states, which had already condemned Russia in March and from within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. demanded the complete withdrawal of his army.

Ghana did not believe that Russia’s proposal “spoke to the decided position of the international community in the face of this humanitarian catastrophe, nor the need for an immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities,” Agyeman said. He was referring to the March 2 vote at the United Nations General Assembly, where 141 countries voted to reprimand Russia for attacking Ukraine, and 35 countries, including China, did not participate. Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Syria and Eritrea voted against it.

Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations, Barbara Woodward, told reporters that the text presented by Moscow was “a cynical attempt by Russia to exploit the crisis they have created.”

“His proposal called for respect for international humanitarian law, but ignored the fact that they were committing war crimes. His resolution called for the protection of women and children, but ignored the fact that he called Mariupol The hospital and the theater were bombed in Mariupol,” he said.

“The one thing his proposal didn’t need that would work is that Russia needed to stop its invasion of Ukraine,” Woodward said.

The UN refugee agency estimates that more than 3.5 million of Ukraine’s 44 million people have fled the country since Russia’s bombings began on February 24. Another 6.5 million have been internally displaced by the war, meaning one in four people are uprooted by the conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said 100,000 people in the city of Mariupol were left without food, water or electricity. Local officials estimate that more than 2,400 civilians have died in the past month.

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