UK statement at the UN Security Council vote to condemn illegal referenda in Ukraine

The president, once again, has abused Russia’s veto to defend its illegal actions.

Council members have voted in different ways. But one thing is clear. Not a single other member of this Council recognizes Russia’s attempt to annex Ukrainian territory. Russia’s veto doesn’t change that fact.

Today’s announcement by President Putin of the accession of the Ukrainian territories of Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, Luhansk and Donetsk to the Russian Federation has no legal effect. This is a fantasy.

The Russian invasion needs to end. The world has made this thing clear in 7 months. Yet Russia’s response has been further escalation, further mobilization, nuclear threats, and today another brutal attack on a civilian convoy in Zaporizhzhya.

The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is under attack. The international order is being attacked before our eyes. Russia will not succeed in this illegal imperialist war. The only question is how much damage they do, how much lives they waste before they even realize it.

Explanation of the vote by Ambassador Barbara Woodward before the vote on Russia’s illegal referendum at the United Nations Security Council

Allies, Russia’s accession further jeopardized the prospects for peace, and fundamentally undermined the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

The area that Russia is claiming to occupy is more than 90,000 square km. This is the largest forced occupation since World War II.

There is no middle ground on this. It is in the end a very simple question of principle, as the Secretary-General has said.

As members of the Security Council with the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security and upholding the United Nations Charter, we must condemn Russia’s actions, and vote in favor of this resolution.

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