A&B votes to condemn Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions

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By Orville Williams

[email protected]

Russia’s attempt to annex four Ukrainian regions last month has been condemned by 143 countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, in a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday.

The resolution calls on the international community not to recognise any of Russia’s annexation claims and demands its “immediate reversal”.

On September 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed “accession treaties” that “formalised” the Kremlin’s illegal annexation of four occupied Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia – during a ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace.

Later, on October 3, the Lower House unanimously approved those treaties.

The annexation attempt followed a series of referendums in the aforementioned regions, where residents were asked to vote whether they were in favour of joining the Russian Federation.

Those referendums were largely considered invalid by sovereign states, as many of the remaining residents in those areas were considered Russian “supporters” – with much of the previous population having fled at the start of the invasion – and persons were allegedly coerced to vote in favour of Russia, with the votes taken under the supervision of armed Russian forces.

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Antigua and Barbuda is among the 143 countries that voted on Wednesday against Russia’s illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions late last month.

The referendums have also been deemed illegal under international law and have been condemned as violations of the United Nations Charter.

In a response to the Russian ceremony, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that his country was formally applying to fast-track its membership to the NATO alliance, adding that Ukraine would not hold any peace talks with Russia as long as Putin remained its leader.

That sustained opposition to Russian aggression continues to receive support from world leaders, and Wednesday’s vote was a certain indicator.

The only UN member states to vote against the resolution were Belarus, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia and Syria, while 35 member states, including Algeria, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Honduras, India and South Africa abstained from voting.

Caribbean nations including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada and St Vincent & the Grenadines, as well as Brazil, Canada, France and Germany voted in favour of the resolution – effectively denouncing Russia’s actions and voicing their discontent with the ongoing situation.

Back in March this year, Antigua and Barbuda also voted in favour of a UNGA resolution that condemned Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Affairs Minister EP Chet Greene was quoted around that time as saying the twin island nation is standing in solidarity with the rest of the world against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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