UN Declares Referendum Vote Illegal

The recent referendum held in Crimea–backed by Russia–to formally withdraw from Ukraine (which then allowed Crimea to join Russia) has been declared by the UN General Assembly today as illegal, as it is in violation of international law.

The resolution, supported by Ukraine, passed with 100 votes in favour, 58 abstentions, and only 11 in opposition. It is said to be similar to the resolution vetoed by Russia in the Security Council earlier this month.  Whilst this event acts to show the global opposition to Crimea and Russia’s actions, it is unlikely to have a great deal of impact on the already cyclic state of events; unlike the Security Council, resolutions passed by the General Assembly do not have to be taken as law (on the other hand, they can also not be vetoed, which is why this one was able to pass in GA).

“By voting in favor of this resolution you vote in favor of the UN Charter while voting against or abstaining equals undermining it,” said Andriy Deshchytsia, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister.

This news comes as Yulia Tymoshenko announces her plans to run for president of Ukraine.

The 53-year-old served twice as prime minister, but was narrowly beaten in 2010 when Yanukovich took office. Yanukovich then launched a campaign against Tymoshenko and her allies, resulting in a seven-year prison term for abuse of office based on a gas deal she brokered with Russia. Two years into her sentence, she’s been released from jail due to Yanukovich’s flee from the country.

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