Russia criticizes U.N. resolution condemning Crimea's secession

Photo: Russia criticizes U.N. resolution condemning Crimea's secession / Other News

Russia said on Friday a U.N. resolution declaring invalid Crimea's Moscow-backed referendum on seceding from Ukraine was counterproductive and accused Western states of using blackmail and threats to drum up "yes" votes, Reuters reported.

The non-binding resolution passed with 100 votes in favor, 11 against and 58 abstentions in the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, in a vote that Western nations said highlighted Russia's isolation.

"This counterproductive initiative only complicates efforts to resolve the domestic political crisis in Ukraine," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It accused Western states of using the "the full force of the unspent potential of the Cold War-era propaganda machine" to whip up support for the resolution.

"It is well-known what kind of shameless pressure, up to the point of political blackmail and economic threats, was brought to bear on a number of (U.N.) member states so they would vote 'yes'," the ministry said.

Several Western diplomats, however, have said Russia's U.N. envoy led an aggressive lobbying campaign against the resolution in what they said showed how seriously Moscow took the U.N. vote condemning a referendum that led to its annexation of Crimea.

The vast majority of residents of Crimea - 96 percent - voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, in a referendum held March 16.

Most countries refused to recognize the referendum's results.

On March 18 Russia and Crimea signed an agreement on Crimea as well as Sevastopol city joining the Russian Federation.

A change of power took place in Ukraine on Feb.22.

The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine ousted President Viktor Yanukovych from the power, changed the constitution and scheduled presidential elections for May 25.

Yanukovych said he was forced to leave Ukraine under the threat of violence, and he remains the legally elected head of state.

A number of provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine, as well as the Crimea did not recognize the legitimacy of the Rada and decided on possibility of holding a referendum on the future fate of the regions.

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