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UN General Assembly (UNGA) overwhelmingly approved a resolution on Wednesday October 12, telling Russia its annexation of four Ukrainian zones is illegal and not valid.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the resolution “historic” in a tweet and thanked the states that voted in favor.

During the assembly’s emergency special session on Ukraine, 35 countries including China abstained from voting while 5 countries Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria, Russia and Belarus voted against the resolution. 143 nations voted in support of the motion, a resounding victory for Ukraine, the US and its allies.

143 countries overwhelmingly vote to condemn Russia
143 countries overwhelmingly vote to condemn Russia

US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the vote “is important not just to the future of Ukraine and the future of Europe, but to the very foundations of this institution.”

“After all, the UN was built on an idea: that never again would one country be allowed to take another’s territory force,” Thomas-Greenfield added. 

Greenfield said the resolution calls for peace and de-escalation, and “makes clear that we reject Russia’s attempted annexations. That we reject this affront to territorial integrity, to national sovereignty, to peace and security.”

“So let us send a clear message today: these United Nations will not tolerate attempts at illegal annexation. We will never recognize it. These United Nations will not tolerate seizing a neighbor’s land force. We will stand up to it. These United Nations will not tolerate the destruction of the UN Charter. We will defend it,” she told the assembly.

“Our message Today is loud and clear: It does not matter if you, as a nation, are big or small, rich or poor, old or new. If you are a UN Member State, your borders are your own and are protected international law. They cannot be redrawn anyone else force.” Thomas-Greenfield added. 

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