The UN General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning Russia for annexing a number of Ukrainian territories to Russia after referendums were held there. The document submitted by the European Union was supported by 143 countries.
Representatives of 50 states spoke against it, abstained or did not vote at all. Russia, Belarus, Nicaragua, Syria and North Korea voted against the resolution. Abstentions included China, India, Vietnam, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Algeria, Mongolia, Thailand, Ethiopia and other countries. Ukraine, Georgia, all three Baltic states, Moldova, Serbia and Hungary, as well as Russia's partners, in particular Brazil and, of course, the Western countries supported the resolution. It should be taken into account that some states did not take part in the vote at all, and there were some that were in arrears in their membership fees and could not vote either.
What is the point of the proposed resolution? It condemns Moscow for holding referendums in the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR,) Luhansk People's Republic (LPR,) and the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Regions. The resolution calls for not recognizing changes in the status of those territories where people have voted for peace and accession to Russia.
According to Vedomosti, Russia's permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, proposed holding a secret vote on the issue, so that all countries could honestly and openly state their attitude to the issue. However, in violation of all the rules and principles in force in this international organization, the proposal was ignored. Russia declared "a strong protest" in connection with the fact that gross violations were recorded during decision-making on the voting procedure. This was stated by Nebenzya on October 10.
According to Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Dmitry Polyansky, as reported by Rossiyskaya Gazeta, some 40 countries were unable to resist the pressure of Western countries before the vote. Many of them, as Polyansky wrote in his Telegram channel, "apologized and openly confessed about it on the eve of the vote." At the same time, he noted that at the beginning of this week, representatives of Western countries had preventive conversations with representatives of those countries that were hesitant. Moreover, as Polyansky noted, Western countries did not shy away from using economic blackmail, and if that did not help, they even resorted to personal threats.
According to Nebenzya, the resolution is capable of undermining all diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the conflict in Ukraine. "The draft is simply saturated with ugly double standards imposed by the West," Nebenzya said, assessing the resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly.
According to Tennessee State University Professor of Political Science Andrei Korobkov, cited by Izvestia, the position of China, India, and South Africa was the most important thing for Russia. Korobkov added that the resolution was adopted against the backdrop of many countries being very cautious about changing borders because they themselves have some problems “in terms of their territorial integrity.” Significantly, India's permanent representative to the UN, Ruchira Cambodia, said that her country abstained from voting because it seeks peace. China's position at the UNGA special session was voiced by China's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Geng Shuang, who said that his country continues to believe that the General Assembly should be aimed at de-escalation and the resumption of dialogue, but this draft does not meet these goals.
The result of the vote on the resolution, with more than 140 countries supporting it, shows that the anti-Russian consensus at the UN remains intact. According to Andrei Kortunov, head of the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs, as reported by Vedomosti, a result closer to 100 would mean that the international community is already tired of this conflict and is ready to freeze it. Kortunov emphasized that with this kind of vote, it's possible now to make a conclusion that there are some countries that act in a traditional way.
Meanwhile, as Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, emphasized, resolutions of the UN General Assembly do not have any legal consequences and are considered to be non-binding because they are advisory rather than mandatory. This is exactly how they differ from UN Security Council decisions.