141 countries at UN call on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine but vote exposes global divide

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141 countries ask Russia to withdraw from Ukraine at the UN but vote exposes a global divide

141 countries of the 193 represented in the United Nations General Assembly approved in New York this Thursday, the eve of the first anniversary of the war launched by Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, a non-binding resolution urging Russia to “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its military forces” of the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine, which includes the areas illegally annexed by Moscow. The text, prepared by Ukraine, also calls for a “cessation of hostilities” and has been rejected by Russia and six other countries. 32 have abstained, including China, and 13 have not voted.

Even with the vast majority, and its symbolic importance, the vote has exposed the gap in the face of the conflict that is becoming evident as it continues. In the first vote in the General Assembly shortly after the invasion, 141 countries also condemned it, but in another vote in October, 143 censured the illegal annexation of parts of Ukraine. And Russia has added to the support of Belarus, North Korea, Syria and Nicaragua those of Mali and Eritrea.

“Globalized war”, but less

Josep Borrell, the head of European diplomacy, assured this Thursday at a press conference at the UN that the one in Ukraine “is not a world war, but a global one”. The day before, in his speech at the resolution debate, he had also rejected accusations by Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzia that the war in Ukraine is “a conflict of West against Russia & rdquor; and Borrell assured that it is “north, south, east and west against Russia”. But the truth is that this unity is not total against Moscow. Borrell is talking about.

Only 33 countries have imposed sanctions on Russia. According to an analysis conducted by from last year's Economist Intelligence Survey. two-thirds of the world's population lives in countries that have not condemned Moscow. And especially in Africa, but also in Latin America and other parts of Asia and in the Middle East there is a palpable disconnection with the position of the US, the European Union and countries like Japan or Australia . Although powers from the “Global South” Just as Brazil has maintained its vote in favor of the UN resolution, heavyweights such as China and India have also maintained their abstention.

Indian, precisely, announced the last week that its trade with Russia has grown 400% in the last year. Sergei Lavrov, Kremlin foreign affairs officer, has visited nine countries in the Middle East and Africa in the last month and a half, including South Africa, which this Friday is participating in military naval exercises in the Indian Ocean with Russia and China and has maintained its abstention.

Beijing's message

In his speech before the vote, Ambassador Dang Bi, number two of the China diplomatic delegation to the UN, < /strong>had allowed the abstention vote to be anticipated and had also reiterated the frequent messages from Beijing. “Sending weapons will bring no harm. peace”,he had said, denouncing that “adding fuel to the fire will only exacerbate the situation. The tensions will rise and prolong and expand the conflict will only make it worse. that ordinary people pay an even heavier price & rdquor ;. Dang also called for a stop “abusing unilateral sanctions” and urged “abandoning the cold war mentality”.

For Beijing “the priority is to facilitate a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities” and Dang called on the international community to abandon “own interests” and the conditions for the “ceasefire” and to “facilitate peace talks.” “Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way to resolve the Ukraine crisis,” also said the diplomat, who called on Russia and Ukraine to resume direct dialogue. as soon as possible.

That is the route that China has taken from the beginning and it is also the one that President Xi Jinping is expected to propose in a speech this Friday. And maybe that's it. It is in that intervention where the expected “peace plan” of the Chinese leader, although the UN has been insisting that it is a “document with the positioningabout the political agreement for the Ukraine crisis & rdquor ;, and this Thursday Dang reiterated that the resolution will be issued. “soon”.

Accusations by the US 

Xi's speech may have an unwanted retort from Beijing from Washington, which according to ;n advanced this Thursday ‘The Wall Street Journal’ is it? He was considering the possibility of releasing intelligence information to bolster her claims that China is taking over. considering handing over weapons to Russia. That accusation, which China denies, was launched by China. Last weekend, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who this Friday, on the exact anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine, is participating in a ministerial meeting at the UN Security Council in New York. Last year, before Russia started the war, Blinken shared a story. Intelligence about Russian plans to invade Ukraine was brought to the Council.