13:59 Nov. 16, 2016
Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko tells how Kremlin tried to prevent adopting the resolution in UN
Long before voting day, Russia started to work on preventing the adoption of the document, says Volodymyr Yelchenko. Kremlin put pressure and bribed other countries. Ukrainian diplomat told Ukrinform news agency that representatives of Russian embassies blackmailed countries - either you vote against the resolution, or we will stand against you in this or that question. Moreover, sometimes they just gave money.
Yelchenko mentioned that such behaviour goes in line with usual work ethics of Russian diplomacy all over the world. Finally, Kremlin managed to "persuade" 23 countries.
Yelchenko expressed surprise concerning positions of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia, who voted against the resolution. Namely, he called Belarus's position anti-Ukrainian. "This is their choice, we understand it, but do not accept and will make adequate conclusions", said Volodymyr Yelchenko.
"Taking into account the situation in our country, conflict and aggression of Russia, we cannot accept the fact that our closest neighbours openly stand against us in UN", added the diplomat.
The resolution, recognizing occupation of Crimea and calling Russia to stop human rights violations on the peninsula, was adopted in UN's human rights committee. This is the first UN document to recognize Russia as an occupying power, and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol – as occupied territory.
On 27 February masked Russian troops without insignia took over the Supreme Council of Crimea, and captured strategic sites across Crimea, which led to the installation of the pro-Russian government in Crimea and the declaration of Crimea's independence.
The event was condemned by many world leaders as an illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory, in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, signed by Russia.