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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Russia Calls For UN Council Vote On "Humanitarian Resolution" In Ukraine

Russia Calls For UN Council Vote On "Humanitarian Resolution" In Ukraine

The resolution "demands that civilians and persons in vulnerable situations, including women and children, are fully protected."
Moscow's envoys to the United Nations on Tuesday called for a Security Council vote on a resolution it has drafted about the "deteriorating humanitarian situation" in Ukraine, where Russian troops have launched an all-out assault.

Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said he regretted that France and Mexico opted not to present a draft resolution on humanitarian aid to the Council, and that Moscow would put forth its "own draft" for a vote.

"We will put forward our own draft which is humanitarian," said Nebenzia.

His deputy, Dmitry Polyanskiy, initially told AFP that Russia would request that a vote on the text take place Wednesday, but a western diplomat later said it had been pushed back until Thursday, after Moscow asked for more time to "negotiate."

Nebenzia emphasized that since French President Emmanuel Macron launched the prospect of a Council resolution, Russia had said it was prepared to adopt one, provided it did not include "political" language.

Paris and Mexico City, with significant pressure from London and Washington, had planned to ask for a "cessation of hostilities" in its resolution -- but that phrase would have likely sparked a Russian veto.

The Russian draft expresses the Council's "grave concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine" and amid "reports of civilian casualties, including children."

The resolution "demands that civilians, including humanitarian personnel and persons in vulnerable situations, including women and children, are fully protected."

The text -- which takes up several ideas developed by France and Mexico in their draft resolution -- would likely get the required nine out of 15 votes to pass, unless one of the permanent members should veto it.

Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States have Council veto power.

Paris and Mexico City have opted to present their text to the UN General Assembly, where Russia cannot veto. No date has been set for that vote.

Earlier this month, the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a measure condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine in late February, in a 141-5 vote with 35 abstentions.
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