UN passes resolution condemning Russian invasion of Ukraine

NEW YORK (Agencies): The United Nations on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in an extraordinary effort to unite member countries against Russia, which holds a permanent seat on the Security Council.
Of the 193-member body, 141 nations voted in favor of the resolution, with 35 abstentions and five voting against, including Russia, Belarus, Syria, Eritrea and North Korea.
The text of the resolution included “demands that the Russian Federation immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces fro-m the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”
The resolution largely mirrored text that failed to pass in the 15-member U.N. Security Council on Friday after it was vetoed by Russia, which is one of five of the permanent members of the body.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield urged passage of the resolution in a speech where she compared Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine last week with Nazi-Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, which set off World War II.
“A few of the eldest Ukrainians and Russians might recall a moment like this, a moment when one aggressive European nation invaded another without provocation, to claim the territory of its neighbor,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
“A moment when a European dictator declared he would return his empire to its former glory, an invasion that caused a war so horrific that it spurred this organization into existence.” Thomas-Greenfield, who pushed countries to back the resolution, said the vote Wednesday represented a challenge for the global body’s legitimacy.
“If the United Nations has any purpose, it is to prevent war. It is to condemn war, to stop war. That is our job here today. It is the job you were sent here to do. Not just by your capitals, but by all of humanity.”
Senator offers bill to revoke Russia’s trade status: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would revoke Russia’s trade status, which allows lower tariffs for Russian goods, in response to its invasion in Ukraine.
Under the legislation, it would do away with Russ-ia’s Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status. Compared to countries who sell products in the U.S. and do not have a PNTR trade status, Russia goods in the U.S. are subject to lower tariffs.
The bill gives President Biden authority to raise tariffs on Russian goods and would also have the president urge the U.S. Mission to the World Trade Orga-nization “to use the voice and influence of the United States at the World Trade Organization to seek the suspension of the membership of the Russian Feder-ation in the World Trade Organization.”
“Putin’s unjustified, unprovoked and appalling invasion of Ukraine shows he doesn’t believe international laws apply to Russia. You don’t get to do that and still benefit from normal trade relations,” Wyden sa-id in a statement. “I urge my colleagues to set partisanship aside and quickly revoke Russia’s most-fav-ored-nation trade status to send a clear message to Putin that the invasion of Ukraine will have devastating consequences for his regime.”
The U.S. government so far has sanctioned a number of Russian entities for their involvement related to the invasion, including Russian elites and their family members, sovereign debt, financial institutions, certain banks from the SWIFT international banking system, Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO, President Putin and Russia’s foreign minister. The Russian invasion has been widely condemn-ed by the international co-mmunity and at home in M-oscow, where thousands h-ave been arrested for pro-testing against the conflict.