A proposal submitted by Russia seeking access to aid and protection for civilians in Ukraine, but did not mention Moscow’s role in the crisis, was rejected by the UN Security Council on Wednesday (23). Only Russia and China voted in favor, while the other 13 members abstained.
“If Russia is concerned about the humanitarian situation, it will stop bombing children and its siege tactics, but they have not,” Barbara Woodward, the UK’s ambassador to the UN, told the House after the vote.
A Security Council resolution requires at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes from Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France or the United States.
Russia has withdrawn a plan previously submitted to the Security Council after accusing Western nations of campaigning “unprecedented pressure” against the move. The United States has denied Russia’s allegations.
After France and Mexico withdrew their draft resolutions at the Security Council on the Humanitarian situation in Ukraine, Russia proposed the speech because they said it would be vetoed by Moscow. The text criticized Russia’s responsibility for the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
Ukraine and its allies plan to vote on a similar draft resolution in the 193-member General Assembly this week, with no country vetoing it. General Assembly resolutions are not restrictive, but have political weight.
South Africa also delivered a competitive speech on the same issue that did not mention Russia in the General Assembly.
According to diplomats, the Ukrainian-led proposal currently has 88 co-sponsors, while South Africa has approximately six, including China.
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