Bangladesh has abstained in a resolution United Nations General Assembly has passed calling on Russia to be held accountable for violating international law by invading Ukraine. The resolution passed on Monday calls for Moscow to be forced to compensate Kiev for war damages. When the resolution was taken up by Ukraine, the vote was 94 in favour and 5 against. 34 countries, including Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, abstained from voting.
What was in the resolution?
The UN General Assembly resolution has symbolic importance. But it is not necessarily effective or enforceable. Countries including Russia, China, and Iran voted against this proposal. It was among the five resolutions on Ukraine adopted by the General Assembly since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In this resolution of the General Assembly, it is said that due to the unjust attack on the neighbouring country, punishment should be suffered and all kinds of compensation should be paid during the war.
The resolution also recognizes the need to establish an international mechanism for wartime reparations. It is also recommended that an international register be created to document overall data on the damage caused to the general population and the government of Ukraine by the Russian attack.
On the other hand, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsya, said that Russia prefers impunity to accountability, and when the issue comes to the Security Council, they just lie and exercise veto. Russia has targeted everything from factories to residential buildings and hospitals in Ukraine, he said. The time has come for Russia to be held accountable.
The 15-member UN Security Council has so far been unable to take any action against Russia. It was not possible, mainly because of Russia’s veto power. However, since there is no veto mechanism in the General Assembly, five resolutions criticizing Russia have been adopted so far. However, unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding. Of course, world opinion is reflected in it.
Russian reaction to the resolution:
Russia has angrily rejected calls for reparations for the attack on Ukraine. The Kremlin said that Moscow would work to prevent the West from paying compensation from Russia’s seized international reserves. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov charged that the West was trying to legitimize looting and violating private property and international law.
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, said, “Not the General Assembly, but the Security Council is the appropriate place to make this decision.” Western nations never consider such reparations to atone for their own sins. He blamed the West for spreading the war, saying the West was trying to complicate the conflict and was planning to use Russian money to do so.
Russia expresses their gratitude towards Bangladesh:
When the Russian embassy in Dhaka learned that Bangladesh would not abstain from Ukraine’s UN General Assembly resolution against Russia, it tweeted a quote from its permanent envoy to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya. He tweeted, “Thank you, Bangladesh, for abstaining.”
This is a positive development in the current flow of events in the bilateral ties for Bangladesh. Last week Bangladesh Ambassador to Moscow Kamrul Ahsan was summoned to the Russian foreign ministry following Bangladesh’s recent decision to restrict the entrance of sanctioned Russian ships into Bangladesh ports, which led to an apparent unease recently between the two time-tested friendly nations.
Countries that abstained from the vote:
Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, the Central African Republic, China, the Congo, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.
Countries that voted against the resolution:
Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua, Russia, and Syria
Countries that voted in favour of the resolution:
Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Antigua-Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad Tobago, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States,Uruguay, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia.