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The resolution, according to the UN General Assembly “reaffirms its commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”
It also “urges all parties to pursue immediately the peaceful resolution of the situation with respect to Ukraine through direct political dialogue, to exercise restraint, to refrain from unilateral actions and inflammatory rhetoric that may increase tensions, and to engage fully with international mediation efforts.”
Despite being sponsored by powerful western countries such as United States, the motion received 100 votes in favour, 11 votes against and 58 abstentions.
Azerbaijan, Benin, Bulgaria, Chile, Greece, Iceland, Libya, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States are among the countries that voted in favor of the draft resolution, while Armenia, Belarus, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Russia, Sudan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe voted against.
Angola, Argentina, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Mongolia, Nepal, Paraguay, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Uzebekistan and Zambia are among the nations that abstained from the voting at the 193-member General Assembly.
Observers say the West failed in their plans to portray Russia as isolated on the international scene.
Russia’s envoy to United Nations, Vitaly Churkin said “Very many countries complained that they were undergoing colossal pressure on the part of Western powers to vote in support of that resolution.”
He further told journalists after the vote, he believes the pressure “produced a certain effect.”
“Some countries voted grudgingly, shall I say, and complained to us about the strong pressure they had experienced,” Churkin was quoted by the international media as saying.
“I see what has happened as a positive development. Even though a modest majority of the General Assembly have voted in favour of a resolution that Russia opposed, I still like the trend we are seeing,” he said, according to RT.
“This time around, it is obvious there is no isolation. We don’t have the majority behind us today, but a positive trend is apparent.”
The changing dynamics in global trade and loss of trust in the West by Africa is one of the reasons why some African countries decided to side with Russia by voting against or abstaining from the vote.
While attending the Somalia London Conference in 2012, UK Premier David Cameron avoided photographs with Kenyan leader, Uhuru Kenyatta while US leader Barack Obama said he could not visit Kenya during his African tour because of the ICC indictments of the Kenya President.
Asked by Kenyan youth via video link why he chose to bypass Kenya, Obama, who was addressing youth in South Africa, noted:
“But what’s also true, I won’t deny, is that Kenya just had an election. I was very proud to see the restraint in which the election was held. We did not see a repeat of the violence that we saw in the last election. But with a new administration that’s also having to manage some of the international issues around the ICC, I did not think it was the optimal time for me to visit.”
Obama’s decision to by-pass his ancestral homeland left many Kenyans frustrated and have never forgiven Obama for such a move.
Faced with western hostility, Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has been looking at growing his country’s economy and creating opportunities for Kenyans through multilateral trade relations with countries in the East
This is due to Kenya’s emerging role as a new frontier for oil and gas and mineral wealth.
Kenya’s drive to open new markets for its traditional exports such as coffee, tea, and fresh produce has also bolstered relations with powerful countries in the East especially China and Russia.
Already, Chinese investment in Kenya is estimated at $474 million, which is Kenya’s largest source of foreign direct investment. Bilateral trade had peaked $2.84 billion in 2012.
To show his displeasure with the West, Kenyatta decided to visit Russia and China immediately after his inauguration, snubbing the west.
Kenya’s western neighbour Uganda has in recent years turned East, with government signing multi-billion-dollar oil and defence deals with Russian and Chinese companies. In Uganda, CNOOC, a Chinese oil company secured a production license before Irish competitor Tullow.
In December 2012, Museveni met Russian President Vladmir Putin at Kremlin where he hailed Russia, China and progressive forces in Africa for opposing hegemonism and imperialist practices, saying they have the capacity to contribute to world peace.
Museveni said Africa is poised to become a global force and its progress is irreversible.
“We know what the bottlenecks have been and we are addressing them. Nothing will stop us this time. Russia was our partner in the independence struggle. It is unfortunate that the Soviet Union had problems when we needed each other most. However, Russia has recovered,” said Museveni.
Museveni made the remarks while presenting a public lecture to the students and community of the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations University of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow under the theme “The situation in the Modern World and Africa.”
“Let us resume where we left off. We salute the stand of Russia and China in opposing hegemonism and imperialist practices. Progressive forces in Africa, working with Russia, China, Brazil, etc., have the capacity to contribute to World peace,” he said.
The recent developments at the United Nations underscore the West, especially United States’ dwindling influence in Africa which is vital to its economic, political and security interests.
While the US has managed to woo its western allies to slap sanctions on Russia, Moscow officials say Washington does not and cannot have any moral right to moral preaching with regard to observation of international laws and respect for the sovereignty of other countries.
“What about the bombings of the former Yugoslavia or the intrusion into Iraq using a falsified cause? If we look at a more distant history, we can find many examples of military interventions by the United States in places, which were located far away from their national borders, when there was no real threat to the security of the United States,” Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Alexander Lukashevich.
“The Vietnam War took the lives of two million of the local population, without mentioning the totally destroyed country and poisoned environment. Under the pretext of protecting their nationals, who were in areas of conflict, the United States intruded into Lebanon in 1958, into the Dominican Republic – in 1965, attacked tiny Grenada in 1983, bombed Libya in 1986, and occupied Panama three years later,” he added.
“Nevertheless they dare to rebuke Russia for “armed aggression”, when it intervenes on behalf of its compatriots, who make up the majority of the Crimean population, not to let ultranationalist forces organise another bloody “maidan”, said Lukashevich.
“It is evident that Washington is still not able to adequately perceive the development of events, if they go against American templates. They cannot overcome themselves, accept that it is not possible to always dictate their own will everywhere and play their usual role of an “infallible judge”, who has the last word. They freak out, yet it is not a good cause for unfair shifting of the blame.”