Members of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday called upon Russia to pay Ukraine war reparations due to violations of international law.
The resolution passed with 94 countries in favor and 14 opposed, with Russia, China, and Iran among the disapproving parties, while 73 countries abstained. Stronger than other stances taken against Russia by the international body, the resolution also calls for the creation of an “international mechanism” for the reparations.
The General Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to the “sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine” in the resolution and demanded that Russia “immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine” by “completely and unconditionally” withdrawing all military assets from the country.
Among the nations approving the measure were the United States, France, Norway, Germany, and the United Kingdom. A far more robust margin of nations affirmed a resolution last month exhorting member states to refrain from recognizing four regions of Ukraine claimed by Russia, as well as demanding that Moscow reverse the “attempted illegal annexation.” China voted against the former resolution and abstained from the latter, while India abstained from both.
Member states of NATO sent thousands of troops to neighboring eastern European countries in February after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of his country’s neighbor. The United States has sent more than $9.8 billion in humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine over the past several months.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently submitted an expedited application to become a member of NATO while asserting that his Russian counterpart must step down before peace talks could begin. “Ukraine was and remains a leader in negotiation efforts. It was our state that always offered Russia to reach an agreement on coexistence on equal, honest, decent and fair terms,” he said in a video message. “It is obvious that this is impossible with this Russian president. He does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but already with another president of Russia.”
The invasion of Ukraine has applied pressure to the global economy, which had already been battling high inflation and backlogged supply chains following the lockdown-induced recession. Developing nations, as well as several leading European economies, have been especially pinched by Russia severely limiting natural gas exports. The Nord Stream pipeline system, which delivers fuel under the Baltic Sea, recently witnessed “unprecedented” damage from an unknown actor.
Ministers in the European Union have introduced proposals to redistribute fossil fuel profits in order to pay for residents’ power bills. United States Secretary-General António Guterres called on attendees at climate conference COP27 to tax the “windfall profits of fossil fuel companies” which have benefited from rising energy prices, noting that the funds could be redirected toward “people struggling with rising food and energy prices and to countries suffering loss and damage caused by the climate crisis.”
Citing the purported danger of climate change, Guterres asked member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to phase out the use of coal by 2030, to be followed by all other nations by 2040, and asserted that the United States and China “have a particular responsibility” to adopt such goals. China recently transitioned toward burning more coal as droughts disrupted hydropower capacity, while Germany, the largest economy in Europe, has reverted to consuming the fuel as natural gas supplies remain tight.