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Russia blocks UNSCR condemning annexation of Ukraine regions

NEW YORK, Sept 30 (KUNA) -- Russia on Friday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution, , circulated by the United States and Albania, describing its annexation of four regions of Ukraine earlier in the day as "unlawful".
The draft resolution was supported by ten of the fifteen members of the Council, with Russia voting against it. Four members abstained, Brazil, China, Gabon and India.
The blocked draft condemned the Russian move as a threat to international peace and security and demand that the decision be immediately and unconditionally reversed.
It described the so-called referendums held by Russia in the four regions of Ukraine which Moscow now regards as sovereign territory - Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya - as illegal and an attempt to modify Ukraine's internationally recognized borders.
It called on all States, international organisations, and agencies not to recognize the Russian annexation declaration, and called on Russia to "immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces" from Ukrainian territory.
Due to Russia's veto, following a new procedure adopted in the UN General Assembly in April, the Assembly must now meet automatically within ten days for the 193-member body to scrutinize and comment on the vote. Any use of the veto by any of the Council's five permanent members triggers a meeting.
On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the annexation plan as a violation of international law, warning that it marked a "dangerous escalation" in the seven-month war that began with Russia's invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
Speaking before the vote, United States Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said that the referendums were a "sham", predetermined in Moscow, "held behind the barrel of Russian guns." "We all have an interest in defending the sacred principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, in defending peace in our modern world", she told ambassadors.
"All of us understand the implications for our own borders, our own economies and our own countries, if these principles are tossed aside.
"It's about our collective security, our collective responsibility to maintain international peace and security...This is what this body is here to do", she said.
Responding for Russia, Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, accused the drafters of the resolution of a "low grade provocation", to force his country to use its veto.
"Such openly hostile actions on the part of the West, are a refusal to engage and cooperate within the Council, a refusal of practices and experience gained over many years." He said there had been "overwhelming" support from residents in the four regions that Russia now claims. "The residents of these regions do not want to return to Ukraine. They have made an informed and free choice, in favor of our country." He said that the outcome of the so-called referendums had been recognized by international observers, and now, after being endorsed by the Russian Parliament, and by presidential decrees, "there will be no turning back, as today's draft resolution would try to impose." (end) asf.ibi