As expected, a resolution in the UN Security Council against the Russian attack on Ukraine failed because of Moscow's veto. Western diplomats, however, saw the vote as a success in trying to isolate Russia internationally. Because China – otherwise a close UN partner of the Russians – abstained, as did India and the United Arab Emirates. 11 states approved, while over 70 other non-voting countries supported the resolution.
China's voting behavior was interpreted as a cautious distancing from Russia. UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said at the meeting: "China is deeply concerned about the recent developments in the situation in Ukraine. Now we are at a point that we do not want to see." China believes that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states must be respected. However, Zhang also criticized NATO and said Moscow had legitimate security interests.
The draft resolution "strongly" condemns Russia's aggression ("dpa") and reaffirms Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as its independence and unity. It demands immediate withdrawal from Russia and a return to the Minsk Agreement. The resolution – the text was drafted under the auspices of the USA – states that the Security Council may decide "that the Russian Federation immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraws its armed forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders".
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the United Nations:
"We should never forget that this is a war of their own choosing. Russia's choice. Russia has chosen to invade its neighbors."
The UN Secretary-General has very clearly rejected Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
António Guterres, UN Secretary-General:
"The United Nations was born out of war to end war. To date, that goal has not been achieved. But we must never give up. We must give peace another chance. Soldiers must return to their barracks, political leaders must rise the path of dialogue and peace."
Most members of the UN Security Council lined up behind a Ukrainian flag against the backdrop of Picasso's Guernica tapestry, considered by many to be one of the most powerful anti-war paintings in history.
The United Nations Security Council, often referred to as the World Security Council, is an organ of the United Nations. It consists of five permanent (Permanent Members, P5) and ten non-permanent members/countries (Elected Members). The five permanent members (France, Russia, the United States, the People's Republic of China and Great Britain) have an extended right of veto when passing resolutions and are therefore also called veto powers.