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UN GA to vote on resolution against recognition of Crimea part of Russia

March 27, 2014, 6:21 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
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UNITED NATIONS, March 27, /ITAR-TASS/. The UN General Assembly on Thursday will hold a plenary meeting on the situation in Ukraine. The meeting that is scheduled to begin at 10:00, New York time (18:00 MSK), will consider a draft resolution that calls on all countries not to recognise the accession of Crimea to Russia on the basis of the results of the March 16 referendum.

According to available information, Acting Foreign Minister Andrei Deshchitsa will represent Kiev at the UN General Assembly meeting.

According to informed sources, the document has been co-sponsored by more than 20 countries, including Ukraine, the United States, Canada, Poland and Lithuania. The draft resolution states that the referendum “is invalid and cannot constitute grounds for any change of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea or the city of Sevastopol.” The document urges countries to abstain from actions aimed at “undermining Ukraine’s national unity and territorial integrity,” including attempts to redraw its borderline “by way of the threats of the use of force or other illegal action.” The draft resolution stresses the need to settle the situation “by means of a direct political dialogue,” without specifying between which parties it should be built.

On March 15, Russia vetoed a similar resolution of the UN Security Council. It became clear after that the Kiev with its supporters would make another attempt to adopt a similar document in the GA where a simple majority of votes of the 193 member states is enough for making a decision. A diplomat of one of the countries that co-sponsored the draft told Itar-Tass that the supporters of the new authorities in Kiev had secured the support of the majority GA members: “Nothing should prevent the adoption of the resolution.” GA resolutions, unlike that of the UNSC, are nonbinding.

China’s stance has caused the greatest interest among observers. Two weeks ago, it had abstained from voting on the resolution at the Security Council. Being a traditional supporter of Russia in the UN, China obviously does not want the aggravation of the situation in its regions in which separatists moods are strong - in Xinjiang and Tibet.

The UN Secretariat that has until recently been trying to avoid giving assessments of the legitimacy of the Crimean referendum and its subsequent accession to Russia, also awaits the voting results. “We await the voting results. We study this issue and will see what the UN member states decide themselves,” UN head’s deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters on Monday.

He also said that on Friday the UN Security Council - for the ninth time already - was planning to hold a meeting on the situation around Ukraine. According to Haq, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon intends to report at the meeting on his visits to Ukraine and Russia on March 20 - 22. It has not yet been decided whether the meeting would be held in an open regime.

Crimea acceded to Russia based on the results of the March 16 referendum and the Declaration of Independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. A total of 96.77 percent residents of the peninsula who took part in the plebiscite on the Crimea status voted for the reunification with Russia. In Sevastopol, the accession to Russia was supported by 95.6 percent of the referendum participants. In his statement on this issue RF President Vladimir Putin said that the “referendum was held in an open and fair way: people in Crimea have clearly, convincingly expressed their will - they want to be with Russia.” On March 21, the Russian president signed the laws on the accession of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation.

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