News and Analysis

Russia Vetoes UN Resolution Condemning Ukraine Invasion – China Abstains
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 25: Members of the United Nations Security Council cast their votes during a meeting at United Nations headquarters on February 25, 2022 in New York City. The United Nations Security Council voted on a resolution condemning Russia after President Vladimir Putin began a large-scale invasion on Ukraine. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

The United States drafted a United Nations (U.N.) Security Council measure “deploring” Russia’s still ongoing invasion of Ukraine — and during a Friday vote, Russia vetoed the resolution and China abstained.

India and the United Arab Emirates joined China in abstaining from the vote, but the remaining 11 Security Council member nations (United States, United Kingdom, France, Norway, Ireland, Albania, Gabon, Mexico, Brazil, Ghana, and Kenya) voted in favor of the resolution, which is expected to go before the 193 members of the U.N. General Assembly next. The move was designed to draw attention to Russia’s growing isolation from the international community.

According to a report from Reuters:

The draft Security Council resolution demanded that Russia “immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine” and “immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw  all of  its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”

The draft also demanded that Russia reverse its recognition of two separatist states in eastern Ukraine as independent.

“It is a matter of regret that the path of diplomacy was given up. We must return to it. For all these reasons India has chosen to abstain on this resolution,” India’s U.N. Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti told the council.

The vote was reportedly delayed a couple of hours while several Security Council members attempted to negotiate with China. In addition, Reuters reported, “The Council softened the language in its resolution to say it ‘deplores’ Russia’s ‘aggression against Ukraine’ from ‘condemns’, while a reference to Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which deals with sanctions and authorization of force, was removed along with a reference to ‘the president.’”

United States Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas Greenfield confirmed after Russia’s veto that the U.S. was standing firmly behind Ukraine, saying, “We are united behind Ukraine and its people, despite a reckless, irresponsible permanent member of the Security Council abusing its power to attack its neighbor and subvert the U.N. and our international system.”

To those who say ‘all parties’ are culpable, I say that is a clear cop out. One country – one country – is invading another. Russia is the aggressor here. There is no middle ground,” she said to the Council.

Since Russia began its full-scale invasion into Ukraine, a number of critics have called for the permanent member to be ousted from the U.N. Security Council:

  • Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): “Remove Russia from the UN Security Council.”
  • Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX): “Russia should be kicked off the UN Security Council. The UN has become a complete joke and this might be a good first step to correcting that problem.”
  • Ian Bremmer: “Russia presiding over the U.N. Security Council right now is an obscenity.”

According to a report published Friday by Fox News, several Capitol Hill lawmakers intend to introduce a resolution, drafted by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY), calling for the White House to attempt to remove Russia from the Security Council.

Tenney’s spokesman Nick Stewart told Fox News, “It’s a long shot” — and noted that while the measure had bipartisan support, they were unsure whether President Joe Biden would take action.

As Fox News reported:

Stewart said the aim of the resolution is to point out that Russia’s continued standing as a permanent member of the international body tasked with preserving world order is “deeply hypocritical.”

The House resolution argues that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive behavior against Ukraine “pose[s] a direct threat to international peace and security” and “run[s] contrary to its responsibilities and obligations as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.”

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