Joe Biden has hailed the UN general assembly for condemning Russia’s “attempted illegal annexation” of four Ukrainian regions, a news report has stated.
Only four countries joined Russia in voting against the resolution – Syria, Nicaragua, North Korea, and Belarus.
Thirty-five countries abstained, including Russia’s strategic partner China, together with India, South Africa, and Pakistan.
Mr Biden said: “By attacking the core tenets of the UN Charter, Russia is tearing at the very foundations of international peace and security.
“The stakes of this conflict are clear to all—and the world has sent a clear message in response: Russia cannot erase a sovereign state from the map.
“Russia cannot change borders by force. Russia cannot seize another country’s territory as its own. Ukraine is entitled to the same rights as every other sovereign country.
“It must be able to choose its own future, and its people must be able to live peacefully inside its internationally recognized borders.”
Ukraine’s UN ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, said the vote result was “amazing”.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said he was “grateful to 143 states that supported the historic UNGA [United Nations general assembly] resolution”, tweeting: “The world had its say – [Russia’s] attempt at annexation is worthless and will never be recognised by free nations.”
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Mr Biden continued: “Nearly eight months into this war, the world has just demonstrated that it is more united, and more determined than ever to hold Russia accountable for its violations.
“Together with the UN General Assembly, we will not tolerate illegal attempts at annexation or the theft of a neighbor’s land by force.
“We will stand up for international law, the UN Charter, and the rights and protections it affords to Ukraine and its people – and to every state and people everywhere.”
US secretary of state Antony Blinken said the vote showed international unity against Russia and repeated that Washington would never recognise the “sham” referendums.
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In a statement, he said: “The vote is a powerful reminder that the overwhelming majority of nations stand with Ukraine, in defence of the UN Charter and in resolute opposition to Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine and its people.”
Russia’s UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told the general assembly ahead of the vote that the resolution was “politicised and openly provocative”, adding that it “could destroy any and all efforts in favour of a diplomatic solution to the crisis”.
He also reiterated Russia’s discredited claims the referendums were valid, saying “the populations of these regions do not want to return to Ukraine”.