Day in History, 2014: UN rejects Russia’s violent attempt to reshape borders



On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 68/262, which affirmed its commitment to the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. The document was a response of the international community to the invasion and illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, though it did not name the perpetrator directly.

The Assembly underscored that the so-called “referendum” held by the Kremlin-installed authorities in Crimea on March 16 had no validity and should not be recognized by any state, international organization or specialized agency. Resolution 68/262 called on all the states to desist and refrain from any actions aimed at disrupting Ukraine’s sovereignty, including the forced change of its borders.

When introducing the draft resolution, acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine Andrii Deshchytsia characterized the Russian intervention as a direct violation of the United Nations Charter:

“Many struggle to grasp the reality—it happened in Ukraine, in the very heart of Europe. It happened in the twenty-first century.”

The resolution was adopted by 100 votes (11 against, 58 abstentions). Russia put severe pressure on a number of governments trying to influence the final vote, Kyiv emphasized thereafter, but the support of the document clearly demonstrated the extent of the international isolation of the aggressor state.

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