Russia has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution reaffirming the commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and declaring the invalidity of the March 16 referendum, reports ELTA. The resolution further expressed that this referendum cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of Crimea.
The resolution also urges for a peaceful resolution through direct political dialogue, to exercise restraint, to refrain from unilateral actions and inflammatory rhetoric that may increase tensions, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania on March 16.
The resolution was submitted by the United States and co-sponsored by 42 UN member states. Thirteen UN Security Council members voted in favor for the resolution, China abstained. As Russia has used its veto power to vote against the resolution, the resolution was not adopted.
"We are profoundly troubled by Russia's veto of this resolution and its consequences for the future of the peace and security in the region and internationally," after the vote in the Security Council, said Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite.
Lithuania's representative stressed that by vetoing the resolution, Russia is working to damage the UN. "The Russian Federation is challenging the very principles on which this Organization, the United Nations, is built."
"We deplore this veto. The world cannot allow a repetition of 1956, 1968, and 2008 in Europe," said Ambassador Murmokaite.
The Ukraine crisis was brought to the attention of the UN Security Council by Lithuania during its Presidency of the Security Council in February 2014. Since then the UN Security Council met 7 times to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. Four meetings were called under Lithuania's initiative.
The UN Security Council is composed of five permanent members - USA, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China - and ten non-permanent members elected for a two-year terms- Lithuania, Luxembourg, South Korea, Australia, Jordan, Nigeria, Chad, Rwanda and Argentina.