Russia is tearing at the very foundations of international peace and security: Biden after UN vote
Russia is tearing at the very foundations of international peace and security, US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday after UNGA overwhelmingly voted against Moscow's annexation of parts of Ukraine
Russia is tearing at the very foundations of international peace and security, US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday after the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted against Moscow's annexation of parts of Ukraine.
Today, the overwhelming majority of the world nations from every region, large and small, representing a wide array of ideologies and governments -- voted to defend the United Nations Charter and condemn Russia's illegal attempt to annex Ukrainian territory by force, Biden said.
As many as 143 nations stood on the side of freedom, sovereignty, and territorial integrity -- even more than the 141 nations that voted in March to unequivocally condemn Russia's war against Ukraine, he said.
Only four chose to side with Russia -- Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua, and Syria, Biden said.
India along with 34 other nations abstained from voting.
By attacking the core tenets of the UN Charter, Russia is tearing at the very foundations of international peace and security. The stakes of this conflict are clear to all -- and the world has sent a clear message in response: Russia cannot erase a sovereign state from the map, Biden said.
Russia cannot change borders by force. Russia cannot seize another country's territory as its own. Ukraine is entitled to the same rights as every other sovereign country. It must be able to choose its own future, and its people must be able to live peacefully inside its internationally recognised borders, he said.
Nearly eight months into this war, the world has just demonstrated that it is more united and more determined than ever to hold Russia accountable for its violations, said the president.
Together with the UN General Assembly, we will not tolerate illegal attempts at annexation or the theft of a neighbour's land by force. We will stand up for international law, the UN Charter, and the rights and protections it affords to Ukraine and its people and to every state and people everywhere, Biden said.
In a separate statement, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said the vote at the United Nations General Assembly is a powerful reminder that the overwhelming majority of nations stand with Ukraine, in defence of the UN Charter, and in resolute opposition to Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine and its people.
Territorial integrity is a central pillar of the United Nations, and Russia's violent contempt for Ukraine's national borders and sovereignty cannot and will not be accepted, he said.
By adopting this resolution, the assembled nations made clear: they will not tolerate an attempt by any UN member state to seize land by force. The vote delivers a resounding rebuke to Russia for its aggression against Ukraine, Blinken said.
With very few nations voting with Russia today, it is clear that international unity on this question is resolute and support for Ukraine at the UN and beyond is unwavering. The United States will continue to work with partners across the globe to support Ukraine's people in defending their nation in its entirety against Russia's aggression, he said.
At the UN headquarter in New York, US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the vote means that in the eyes of the world and the United Nations, Ukraine's borders remain the same.
The resolution also sends an enormously important signal to Moscow and to everyone: It does not matter if you as a nation are big or small, rich or poor, old or new. If you are a UN member state, your borders are your own and are protected by international law. And that goes for every single country in the UN, she said.
They cannot be redrawn by anyone else by force. The UN was built on this idea. And today, the United States and the overwhelming majority of the world defended that idea. We defended the UN Charter that embodies that idea, she said.