Moscow vetoes draft resolution against Ukraine regions integration into Russia
Moscow has cast its veto against a draft resolution aimed at outlawing earlier voluntary integration of four Ukrainian regions into Russian soil.
The resolution, which had been drafted by the United States and Albania, was put to vote at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday.
The vote came shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin formalized the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia's incorporation into the Russian Federation.
The foursome regions voted in favor of joining Russia during referendums that were held over five days earlier in the month.
The draft resolution called on member states not to recognize the results of the plebiscites, which Kiev, the US, and their allies have denounced as a "sham."
Addressing the Security Council, however, Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia argued that the regions had chosen to join Russia of their own accord.
"There will be no turning back as today's draft resolution would try to impose," he said.
Ten nations voted in favor of the draft, while China, Gabon, India, and Brazil abstained.
The referendums came amid an ongoing "special military operation" that Russia launched in February against Ukraine in order to “demilitarize” Donbas, which is made up of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics.
Back in 2014, the republics broke away from Ukraine, refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government there that had overthrown a democratically-elected Russia-friendly administration.
Announcing the operation, Putin said the mission was aimed at “defending people who for eight years are suffering persecution and genocide by the Kiev regime.”
The Western states have been accommodating Ukraine generously with advanced weapons in a move that Moscow says only draws out the conflict.
Earlier in September, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the US and its European allies were trying to prolong fighting in Ukraine in order to weaken Russia.