The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a Western-backed resolution declaring Crimea's breakaway referendum illegitimate and refusing to recognize Russia's annexation of the peninsula.
The non-binding measure passed with a comfortable majority in the 193-member body, with 100 votes in favor and 11 votes against. But 58 abstained and more than 20 did not vote.
Ukraine, which drafted the resolution, welcomed its adoption and called for a "stronger and more concrete" united, international front against Russian aggression.
"I'm very much satisfied with the vote... (an) overwhelming majority of nations in the world supported this resolution," acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya said.
He had urged the international community to back the text, hoping an overwhelming show of support would ward off further Russian intervention on Ukrainian territory.
"I am convinced that a strong vote today will help to deter further aggressive moves," Deshchytsya told the assembly.
"It sends an essential message that the international community will not allow what has happened in Crimea to set a precedent to further challenges to our rules."
Western diplomats wanted a strong majority vote to press home what they say is Russia's isolation, but there had been fears that a high number of countries would abstain.
Moscow's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin claimed the vote was a "moral victory" for Russian diplomacy, saying that "almost half" the UN membership refused to support the resolution.
28 March 2014
The UN has resoundingly disapproved of the Russian annexation of Crimea, and Russia doesn't seem to give two shits.
Posted by Brant at 11:12