Russia Casts Veto at UN, but US Isn't Finished

Measure condemning attack on Ukraine could go to full General Assembly next
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2022 5:30 PM CST
Russia Blocks UN Resolution, but US Has a Next Step
The UN Security Council votes Friday.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(Newser) – Russia exercised its veto power Friday to block a UN Security Council resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine, but US officials say that's not the end of the matter. The veto, granted to the Security Council's five permanent members, was anticipated; 11 nations supported the resolution, while China, India, and the United Arab Emirates abstained, per the New York Times. But the US wanted to force the Russians to cast the vote blocking it. "In so doing, they will underscore their isolation," a senior administration official said before the vote, per the Los Angeles Times.

US officials already planned to take the resolution next to the General Assembly, which allows no vetoes and requires only a simple majority for a measure to pass. The resolution, which isn't legally binding, calls on Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine and its recognition of the two separatist areas in eastern Ukraine it declared independent, per the AP. "You can veto this resolution but you cannot veto our voices," US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Russian representative Friday. "You cannot veto the UN charter. You cannot veto the Ukrainian people. You cannot veto accountability."

The US and allies have been lobbying other members on the issue, and it's not certain the resolution will have the overwhelming support its backers are seeking. The State Department is lobbying nations such as Portugal, Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. China's foreign ministry on Friday expressed support for all nations' sovereignty but called Russia's security concerns about Ukraine "legitimate." Other nations don't want to alienate any of the parties. India has urged de-escalation without being critical of Russia. Turkey, which has become a closer trading partner of Russia recently, called the attack "unacceptable" but hasn't said much specific since. (Read more UN Security Council stories.)

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