The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly condemned Russias “attempted illegal annexation” of four territories in Ukraine. The General Assembly also calls for the territories not to be recognized as Russian.
Out of 193 members of the General Assembly, 143 countries agreed to the resolution. It also reaffirmed Ukraines sovereignty, independence and unity within internationally recognized borders. Five countries voted against, apart from Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua and Syria. 35 countries, including China and India, abstained.
Previously, Russia had called for the vote to be kept secret, but the UN did not agree. Last month, a similar resolution in the UN Security Council was blocked by Russia. Contrary to Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not binding. The vote was mainly seen as a view of global sentiment regarding the war in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Zelensky thanks the countries for their support. He speaks of an historic mood: “The world has spoken. Russias annexation attempt is useless and will never be recognized by free countries.”
On the same day, NATO also met in Brussels. Members pledged new military assistance to Ukraine and promised continued support. In the week that Russia hit numerous towns and cities across Ukraine with missiles, there were mainly air defense weapons commitments.
US Secretary of Defense Austin said Ukraine has made significant ground gains since September, but more help is in order. “Were going to do everything we can to make sure they have everything they need to be effective.”
Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren said after the first day of the NATO summit that the recent Russian air strikes have brought the war into a new phase. The minister calls the delivery of missiles to Ukraine a “response to cowardly missile attacks”.
Next day, NATO will discuss Russias nuclear threat. According to Ollongren, NATO has its nuclear deterrent in order and so does Russian President Putin. She calls on countries to keep their cool. “We should not let ourselves be driven crazy and not allow Putin to sow fear.”