Russia has been exposed as internationally isolated over the crisis in Crimea, with members of the UN Security Council overwhelmingly supporting a draft resolution condemning an upcoming referendum in the Ukraine region as illegal.
Russia vetoed the US-backed resolution when it was put to the council on Saturday, but its council ally China crucially abstained — meaning Russia is the only nation to recognise the Crimean referendum.
The veto means the resolution will not be adopted by the UN, but highlights Russia’s isolation in the international community over Crimea.
After the vote was taken, Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, said: “Under the UN charter, the Russian Federation has the power to veto a security council resolution. But it does not have the power to veto the truth.”
“History has lessons for all of us, who are willing to listen. Unfortunately, not everyone was willing to listen today.”
Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor, James Bays, said the vote laid bare the international opposition to Russia’s stance on Ukraine and Crimea.
“China is not supporting its ally Russia on this occasion. It is abstaining. That’s the best the Western nations, who drafted this resolution, could hope for, but they think that this is important because it exposes that Russia is on its own.”