Russia rails at UN move on Ukraine, China readies ‘position paper’ By Reuters3 min read
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The United Nations headquarters building is pictured with a UN logo in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 1, 2022. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
By Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Russia has urged U.N. states to vote against an “unbalanced and anti-Russian” move at the General Assembly by Ukraine and others to mark one year since Moscow invaded, as China said on Tuesday it could release a “position paper” on the war within days.
The 193-member U.N. General Assembly is due to vote later this week on a draft resolution stressing “the need to reach, as soon as possible, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace” in line with the founding United Nations Charter.
Ukraine and its supporters hope to deepen Russia’s diplomatic isolation by seeking yes votes from nearly three-quarters of the General Assembly to match – if not better – the support received for several resolutions last year.
The draft text would again see the General Assembly demand Moscow withdraw its troops and call for a halt to hostilities. General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, but carry political weight.
“Even the eventual cessation of hostilities without a clear incentive for meaningful negotiations as well as rectifying the issues that lead to the crisis will not bring a long-lasting solution,” Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia wrote in a letter to U.N. member states on Monday, seen by Reuters.
“There is no mentioning of ‘dialogue’ or ‘negotiations’,” he said of the draft. “If the text remains unbalanced and anti-Russian as it is now we ask Member States to vote against it.”
CHINA’S ‘POSITION PAPER’
A peace plan proposed by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy last year calls for a restoration of territorial integrity and for Russia to reaffirm it according to the U.N. Charter, which Zelenskiy said is “not up to negotiations.”
It also demands a withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities.
Russian ally Belarus on Tuesday suggested amendments to the draft U.N. resolution, seen by Reuters, including “prevention of further escalation of the conflict through feeding the parties with lethal weapons.” Diplomats say they are unlikely to pass.
The United States and allies have provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in weapons. The United States has accused Iran and North Korea of supplying Russia with weapons and on Saturday said it was concerned China was considering providing “lethal assistance” to Russia.
China said on Monday that the United States was in no position to make demands of Beijing. China and Russia announced a “no limits” partnership shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine.
China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun told reporters on Tuesday that China would release a “position paper” on Ukraine likely within days that “will be mainly reflecting the consistent positions of China on this issue.”
“We have never called it peace plan. Its position paper,” Zhang said. “We will continue to emphasize respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. We emphasize that countries should accommodate the security concerns of each other.”
“Mainly, we will call for peace, for dialogue, for peaceful settlement,” he said.