Today, the United Nations Security Council convened for the seventh time to address the urgent crisis in Ukraine. The UN Security Council voted on a resolution on Ukraine, but the resolution was vetoed by Russia. After the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said:
"...Today, one again searches in vain, to find truth in the Russian position on Crimea, on Ukraine, or on the proposed Security Council resolution considered and vetoed a few moments ago.
"The truth is that this resolution should not have been controversial. It was grounded in principles that provide the foundation for international stability and law: Article 2 of the UN Charter; the prohibition on the use of force to acquire territory; and respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of member states. These are principles that Russia agrees with and defends vigorously all around the world -- except, it seems, in circumstances that involve Russia.
"The resolution broke no new legal or normative ground. It simply called on all parties to do what they had previously pledged, through internationally binding agreements, to do. It recalled specifically the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which Russia and other signatories reaffirmed their commitments themselves to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and to refrain from aggressive military action toward that country.
"The resolution called on the government of Ukraine to do what it has promised it will do: to protect the rights of all Ukrainians, including those belonging to minority groups.
"Finally, the resolution noted that the planned Crimean referendum, scheduled for tomorrow, has no legal validity and will have no legal effect on the status of Crimea."
Ambassador Power continued, "...Russia has used its veto as an accomplice to unlawful military incursion -- the very veto given nearly 70 years ago to countries who had led an epic fight against aggression. But in so doing, Russia cannot change the fact that moving forward in blatant defiance of the international rules of the road will have consequences. Nor can it change Crimea’s status. Crimea is part of Ukraine today; it will be part of Ukraine tomorrow; it will be part of Ukraine next week; it will be part of Ukraine unless and until its status is changed in accordance with Ukrainian and international law.
"Russia prevented adoption of a resolution today. But it cannot change the aspirations and destiny of the Ukrainian people. And it cannot deny the truth displayed today that there is overwhelming international opposition to its dangerous actions."
For more information:
- Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council Stakeout on Ukraine, March 15, 2014
- Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, After a UN Security Council Vote on a Resolution on Ukraine, March 15, 2014
- Remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry at a Press Availability in London on the Situation in Ukraine, March 14, 2014
- U.S. Department of State Country Page on Ukraine