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UN Security Council votes to reject Russian, US resolutions on Venezuela

The Russian resolution was supported by four countries

UN, February 28. /TASS/. The UN Security Council on Thursday voted to reject two rival resolutions on Venezuela, put forward by Russia and the United States.

Commenting on the situation, Russia’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya said that due to US actions, which undermine unity within this UN body, the Security Council itself is turning into a threat to peace and security.

Russian resolution

The Russian resolution was supported by four countries (Russia, China, Equatorial Guinea and South Africa), Seven nations, such as the United States and several European nations, voted against. Four UN Security Council members, including Indonesia and Kuwait, abstained.

The resolution, authored by Moscow, contains a call to peaceful settlement of the crisis on the basis of dialogue, including the mechanism created by a group of nations in Montevideo. A provision about humanitarian assistance to Venezuela was added to the latest version of the document. According to it, the Security Council acknowledges the Venezuelan government’s leading role in initiating, organizing, coordinating and putting into practice measures of international humanitarian assistance on its territory. It also says that such initiatives can be carried out only with the consent and upon the request of the Venezuelan government.

US resolution

Earlier in the day, Russia and China used their veto on Thursday to block the resolution on Venezulea, which has been put forward by the United States and makes a call to hold elections in the country.

Nine out of the 15 UN Security Council members voted in favor, three - Russia, China and South Africa - were against, and three abstained.

According to Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya, the United States was perfectly aware that there were no chances for the resolution to be passed, and put it to a vote only to get an opportunity for accusing countries that rejected it of hindering humanitarian assistance to the country.

"We have serious concerns that today’s session may be used as a step forward in preparing a real intervention, not a humanitarian one, [and] as a pretext for external interference for reasons of the UN Security Council’s alleged inability to settle the crisis in Venezuela," he said.

"Eventually, we have reached the climactic scene of the United States’ show of double standards on Venezuela," the Russian diplomat added.

Commenting on his country’s decision to reject the document, China’s permanent UN ambassador, Ma Zhaoxu said: "The text of the US resolution fundamentally differs from the Chinese stance, that’s why we had to vote against it."

South Africa’s envoy, Jerry Matthews Matjila, in his turn, said the US-backed resolution does not reflect true root causes of the conflict and described the document as "biased."

The draft resolution calls for "the start of a peaceful political process leading to free, fair, and credible presidential elections," and stresses "the need to prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Venezuela and to facilitate unhindered access and delivery of assistance to all in need in the entirety of the territory of Venezuela in accordance with humanitarian principles."

It also "supports the peaceful restoration of democracy and rule of law in Venezuela; requests the Secretary-General utilize his good offices to help ensure free, fair, and credible presidential elections, and encourages subsequent peaceful, inclusive, and credible initiatives to address the prolonged crisis in the country." The document also suggests deeming the 2018 presidential elections illegitimate.

The document also "stresses the importance of ensuring the security of all members of the National Assembly, and members of the political opposition."

Threat to peace and security

Shortly after the vote, Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya, said the US-backed document was "compiled with an aim to overthrow the regime under the guise of taking care about people."

He also expressed his "deep regret" about the fact that "the Security Council has once again found itself involved into this political show and risky undertakings."

"Washington and London have again robbed a whole nation of billions of dollars, while forcing it to accept a thrown bone on the condition of a regime change," the Russian envoy said.

‘You have been literally burning bridges," Nebenzya continued, addressing his political opponents at the UN Security Council. "We have heard the old song - the Russian resolution was not adopted, the US one was vetoed. This is what this whole undertaking was aimed at."

"You have been deliberately destroying the unity of the Council," he continued, noting that the Russian resolution was rejected by the seven allied Security Council members. "At the same time, the number of nations that support Venezuela amounts to at least 60, as was recently demonstrated by a meeting at the UN. The council itself is at risk of becoming a threat to peace and security."

Venezuelan crisis

On January 23, Juan Guaido, whose appointment as parliamentary speaker had been annulled by the Supreme Court two days earlier, declared himself as acting president. On the same day, Washington recognized him as acting head of state, as did the Lima Group countries (barring Mexico), the Organization of American States, and a number of other nations among them such as, Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel. President Nicolas Maduro blasted the developments as an attempted coup.

In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey came out in Maduro’s support. The UN secretary-general called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.