UNSC to vote on resolution condemning Russia accession referenda
A resolution drafted by the US and Albania claims that the completed referenda to join Russia "have no validity."
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will vote Friday on a resolution condemning the referenda on the accession of the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to Russia.
The resolution -- drafted by the United States and Albania -- has no chance of passing thanks to Moscow's veto power, though it can then be presented to the United Nations General Assembly.
The text, seen by AFP, "condemns the Russian Federation's organization of illegal so-called referenda" in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson, claiming that they "have no validity" and "cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of these regions," including "any purported annexation."
It calls on member states not to recognize any accession to Russia and demands Moscow "immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine."
The meeting is set for 3:00 pm (1900 GMT) Friday, ahead of another discussion on the leaks discovered in the Nord Stream gas pipeline, and the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin is to hold a formal ceremony at the Kremlin on the accession.
In the same context, all eyes will be on the responses from India and China. The two countries in February abstained from voting on a resolution condemning Russia's military operation in Ukraine, but China earlier this week called for the "territorial integrity" of all countries to be respected.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday condemned the accessions as a "dangerous escalation" that has "no place in the modern world."
On Tuesday, the results of the referenda on the accession of the LPR, DPR, Kherson, and Zaporozhye regions to Russia were released by Moscow.
The head of the regional electoral committee in the Zaporozhye, Galina Katyushchenko, announced that 93.11% of voters supported accession to Russia, as 100% of ballots have been counted in the region.
In the LPR, 98.42% of voters backed accession to Russia, as per the head of the regional electoral committee, Elena Kravchenko.
In the Kherson region, 87.05% of voters supported the accession, according to the head of the regional election commission, Marina Zakharova.
With all referenda counted, DPR reported 99.23% of voters in favor of becoming part of Russia.
US, NATO, and EU will not recognize results of referenda
It is noteworthy that the United States and NATO had announced that they will not recognize the results of the referenda in the four regions.
"These referenda are an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that underpin the international system," considered US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, adding that "if this does transpire, the United States will never recognize Russia's claims to any purportedly annexed parts of Ukraine."
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also pointed out that the referenda will be viewed as illegitimate calling on the international community to denounce them.
"Sham referendums have no legitimacy and do not change the nature of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. This is a further escalation in Putin’s war. The international community must condemn this blatant violation of international law & step up support for Ukraine," Stoltenberg claimed.
On his part, EU foreign policy Chief Josep Borell said that all those involved in referenda to join Russia and other "violations of international law" in Ukraine will be held accountable, saying that "Russia, its political leadership, and all those involved in these 'referenda' and other violations of international law in Ukraine will be held accountable, and additional restrictive measures against Russia would be considered."