'Silence the guns...now', 'world is rejecting Russia’s lies': Here's how world leaders reacted to UNGA vote

WION Web Team
United Nations, United States Updated: Mar 03, 2022, 08:35 AM(IST)

UNGA Photograph:( AFP )

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The text of the resolution has undergone numerous changes over the past couple of days. It no longer 'condemns' the invasion as anticipated, but instead 'deplores in the strongest terms the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine'

An overwhelming majority of nations at the UN General Assembly voted on Wednesday to condemn Moscow's invasion of Ukraine by "demanding" Russia "immediately" withdraw from it.

The move is seen as a powerful rebuke to Moscow's invasion.

US President Joe Biden in a statement later Wednesday said that "the world is rejecting Russia’s lies,". "Russia is responsible for the devastating abuses of human rights and the international humanitarian crisis that we are watching unfold in Ukraine in real time."

Also read | UN General Assembly votes to demand Russian withdrawal from Ukraine; India, China abstain

The resolution "deplores" the invasion of Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin's decision to place nuclear weapons on alert "in the strongest terms".

"They have come to deprive Ukraine of the very right to exist," Ukraine's ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the Assembly ahead of the vote.

"It's already clear that the goal of Russia is not an occupation only. It is genocide."

The text of the resolution has undergone numerous changes over the past couple of days. It no longer "condemns" the invasion as anticipated, but instead "deplores in the strongest terms the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine."

Also read | The 'staggering' humanitarian cost of Russia's 'cruellest' day of attack on Ukraine

The vote, which came as Putin's forces bore down on Kyiv while terrified Ukrainians fled, was touted by diplomats as a bellwether of democracy in an autocratic world.

Olof Skoog, the EU's ambassador to the UN, said the vote was "not just about Ukraine."

"It is about defending an international order based on rules we all have signed up to," he said in a statement.

Watch | UNGA votes on resolution on Russia's invasion of Ukraine & demands Russia to withdraw troops

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres remarked that the General Assembly's message was "loud and clear."

"End hostilities in Ukraine -- now. Silence the guns -- now," he said in a statement. 

"As bad as the situation is for the people in Ukraine right now, it threatens to get much, much worse. The ticking clock is a time bomb."

During the session, some delegations chose to place stuffed animals on their tables - a stark reminder of the conflict's devastating impact on children.

141 out of 193 member states voted for the non-binding resolution after more than two days of extraordinary debate during which the Ukrainian ambassador accused Russia of genocide. 

A total of 35 countries, including China, India and Pakistan abstained from voting, and only five opposed it -- Eritrea, North Korea, Syria, Belarus and of course Russia.

(With inputs from agencies)

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