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Russia wants secret UN vote on move to condemn ‘annexation’ of Ukraine regions

Russia will lobby for a secret vote instead of a public one when the 193 member UN General Assembly considers next week whether to condemn Moscow’s decision to annexe four regions in Ukraine. It did this after holding what it called referendums.

Ukraine and its allies denounced the illegal and coercive voting in Donetsk and Luhansk. A Western-drafted UN General Assembly resolution condemns Russia’s illegal so-called referenda and “attempted illegal annexe” of areas where voting took place.

Russia’s UN stated: “This is clearly a politicized, provocative development aimed to deepen the divide in the General Assembly… and bring its members further apart.”

It was said that secret ballots were necessary because of the fact that it was difficult for Western lobbyists to express their positions publicly. Diplomats stated that the General Assembly would have to vote publically on whether to hold secret ballots.

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Russia rejected a similar resolution last week in the 15-member Security Council.

“Unless the international community responds, there can be claims of no-one paying attention. This now gives other countries a carte blanche to do the same or give recognition to Russia’s actions,” Ambassador Olof Skoog said.

He stated that the EU was in consultation with UN member countries ahead of Wednesday’s  (5 October) likely vote.

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Russia doesn’t fully control any of its four claimed annexed provinces, but Ukrainian forces have retaken thousands square miles of territory since September.

These United Nations moves mirror the 2014 Russian annexe of Ukraine’s Crimea. Russia opposed a draft resolution on Crimea’s status and asked countries not to recognize it.

The General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring that the referendum was invalid. It received 100 votes for, 11 against, and 58 formal abstentions. Two dozen countries did not participate.

Russia is trying to reduce its isolation from the international community after almost three quarters of the General Assembly voted in favor of reprimanding Moscow and requiring it to withdraw its troops within one week of its 24 February invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow warned countries ahead of an April vote by the General Assembly to suspend Russia’s membership in the Human Rights Council. A yes or no vote would be considered “unfriendly” and could have serious consequences for their relationships.

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EU Reporter publishes articles from a variety of outside sources which express a wide range of viewpoints. The positions taken in these articles are not necessarily those of EU Reporter.

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