On April 26, China unexpectedly voted in favor of a UN resolution that acknowledges Russia's military aggression against Ukraine and emphasizes the need to respect the independence and territorial integrity of all states.

 

The resolution, proposed by 48 states, including Ukraine, called for cooperation between the UN and the Council of Europe to address, among other issues, the "unprecedented challenges facing Europe, after Russia's aggression against Ukraine and Georgia," was supported by 122 countries.  

 

The relevant section in the document's preamble stated:

 

"Recognizing also that the unprecedented challenges now facing Europe following the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, and against Georgia prior to that, and the cessation of the membership of the Russian Federation in the Council of Europe, call for strengthened cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe, notably in order to promptly restore and maintain peace and security based on respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of any State, ensure the observance of human rights and international humanitarian law during the hostilities, provide redress to victims and bring to justice all those responsible for the violations of international law."

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This significant development has passed largely unnoticed, though Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, did flag it at the time on Twitter.

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Chinese representatives have in the past abstained or opposed resolutions censuring Russia. On this occasion they were also joined by other countries, including India, Brazil, Armenia, and Kazakhstan, who have also previously also abstained from condemning Russia's military aggression and war crimes.

 

Of the 127 countries that participated in the voting, only five opposed the resolution: Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua, and Syria. Eighteen states abstained from voting. 

 

This latest vote by the UN General Assembly reflects the continued and increasing international condemnation of Russia's aggression and its international isolation.

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