UNITED NATIONS, Dec 10 (APP):The U.N. General Assembly has adopted a resolution urging Russia to withdraw its military forces from Crimea and end its temporary occupation of Ukraine’s territory “without delay.”
The vote in the 193-member assembly was 63 countries in favour to 19 against, with 66 abstaining. Forty five countries did not vote. Most Western nations supported the text.
Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, though they do reflect world opinion.
The resolution was adopted the same day as the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, met in Paris face-to-face for the first time since Moscow sent its troops into Crimea in 2014.
Monday’s resolution expresses the assembly’s “grave concern over the progressive militarization of Crimea by the Russian Federation as the occupying power,” its use of seized Ukranian military industry enterprises, and the conscription of Crimean residents into the Russian armed forces.
It expresses the assembly’s “utmost concern about the dangerous increase in tensions and the unjustified use of force by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.”
The resolution also expresses concern at Russia’s actions in parts of the Black Sea surrounding Crimea and in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.
It welcomes Russia’s release of 24 crew members of three Ukrainian naval vessels it seized last November and encouraged “further negotiations to ensure the release by the Russian Federation of all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens and their safe return to Ukraine.”
The General Assembly in 2014 reaffirmed Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea and has adopted resolutions on the problems of the militarization and of human rights in Crimea.