19 December, the UN General Assembly adopted, according to the head of the foreign Ministry Pavel Klimkin, the most radical resolution on the Crimea, where for the first time in official documents of the UN, Russia is defined as the state-occupier. In Ukraine believe that this document should become the basis of de-occupation of the Peninsula. How justified these expectations in explaining the material LIGA.net.
WHERE TO START. The document adopted yesterday is already the third resolution of the UN General Assembly on Crimea. The first was adopted in March 2014, it is UN supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine and condemned the conduct of the “referendum” on 16 March as “unenforceable”. The second resolution was adopted on December 19, 2016, concerning the situation with human rights in Crimea. A new decision of the General Assembly overlaps with the previous one, but has significant differences.
The text of the resolution directly condemning “the current temporary Russian occupation of the territory of Ukraine – AR Crimea and city of Sevastopol” and not recognize its annexation. Practically, this means formal recognition by the world of the fact that on the territory of Ukraine is international military conflict. Earlier, a similar formulation can be found mainly in the statements of leaders of individual countries. For the first time this is recorded in the document of the international organization, which represented most countries of the world.
The document calls on Russia to stop political persecution and human rights violations in the Crimea. In particular, the General Assembly required to reconsider the decision to ban the Mejlis, to cancel the effect of Russian law in Crimea, the conscription of the Russian Federation, and also to stop the imposition of Russian citizenship to residents of Crimea and to immediately release all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens. In addition, the resolution calls on the Russian occupation authorities to ensure the educational process in Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages.
A separate item on the UN General Assembly calls on Russia to comply with the interim decision of the International court of justice to restore the rights and freedoms of citizens of Ukraine on the Peninsula. Also condemned lack of access to Crimea to the UN Monitoring Mission on human rights in Ukraine.
HOW IT DEVELOPED. For the resolution voted in Crimea representatives of 70 countries. Vs – 26. 76 delegates abstained. Against the resolution voted by Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Syria, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Among the abstentions – Brazil, Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and others.
According to the President of Petro Poroshenko, the resolution is a strong signal to the aggressor that “for us the rule of international law, truth and justice”. The foreign Ministry called the document “basis for further de-occupation of the Peninsula.” In the Kremlin consider the document “wrong”. “We believe this language is incorrect and do not agree with them,” extremely Lukonina responded the speaker of the Russian President, Dmitry Peskov.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT. It is worth noting that the UN General Assembly – deliberative body, whose decisions are Advisory in nature, in contrast to the decisions of the UN security Council. But Russia in the security Council has veto power, so any strict steps against it it impossible.
As said LIGA.net Ukrainian international lawyer, former representative of Ukraine to the UN Council on human rights Vladimir Vasilenko, sometimes, in cases when an important decision cannot be taken in the security Council, it can be done in the framework of the General Assembly, but in order to be binding, one should be taken by consensus. This is not the case. However, the resolution is of great importance as another confirmation of the fact that on the territory of Ukraine is not an internal but an international conflict that it is important to strengthen the sanctions pressure on the Russian Federation, and, respectively, and for the de-occupation of the Ukrainian Peninsula.