US, Albania call for UN vote on resolution condemning Russia, say diplomats

The US and Albania hope to gather as many votes in favour as possible among the 15 member states. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - The United Nations Security Council will vote on Friday (Feb 25) on a draft resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demanding a withdrawal of its troops, a text doomed to fail due to Moscow’s veto, diplomatic sources said.

The strongly worded text, proposed by the United States and Albania, hinges on chapter seven of the UN Charter, which allows for “action by air, sea, or land forces” to enforce international peace and security.

But it will likely be dead on arrival because of Russia’s veto power as a permanent member of the council, diplomats said.

For Washington, however, the use of the expected veto would show Russia’s “isolation”, said a senior US official, on condition of anonymity.

The Russian deputy ambassador to the UN, Mr Dmitry Polyanskiy, whose country holds the rotating Security Council presidency for February, confirmed to AFP that the vote will be held on Friday at 2000 GMT (4am Saturday Singapore time).

A vote on a similar text is expected to follow in the UN General Assembly, where resolutions are non-binding and where its 193 members do not have vetoes.

According to the draft resolution, seen by AFP, the Security Council would condemn “in the strongest terms the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine in violation of Article 2, paragraph 4 of the United Nations Charter”, which says all member states must not attack other countries.

The text, if adopted, would also require Russia to “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 US and Albania, a non-permanent member of the council, hope to gather as many votes in favour as possible among the 15 member states, according to diplomats.

In 2014, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a resolution condemning Moscow garnered 13 votes in favour, with China abstaining while Russia exercised its veto power.

The text was then sent to the UN General Assembly where it received 100 votes in favour. Eleven countries voted against, 58 formally abstained, while the rest of the members did not take part in the vote.

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