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Zimbabwe explains abstaining anti-Russia UN vote

by Staff reporter
04 Mar 2022 at 05:33hrs | Views
THE international community must ceaselessly work towards facilitating dialogue between Russia and Ukraine to resolve the crisis in eastern Europe and not make unilateral decisions that seek to punish another country.

Following Wednesday night's vote at the United Nations General Assembly, the first since 1982, Zimbabwe, which abstained from voting against Russia, said the best way to resolve the Russo-Ukraine feud is through dialogue.

Russia recently launched a special military operation against its neighbour Ukraine, reportedly to end alleged attacks on civilians in separatists' republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.

The Western world, which is backing Ukraine, immediately imposed a raft of sanctions to squeeze Moscow into submission.

The resolution to reprimand Russia at the UN, which is not binding, was supported by 141 of the assembly's 193 members. Five countries including Russia, Syria, and Belarus voted against it.

Zimbabwe together with China, South Africa, and more than 30 others abstained from the anti-Russia vote at the emergency session called by the United Nations Security Council.

The resolution "deplores in the strongest terms the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine in violation of Article 2, paragraph 4 of the United Nations Charter" and "decides that the Russian Federation shall immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders".

Abstaining, however, is different from not voting, and Zimbabwe's reasoning was that the country felt the decision was not promoting dialogue.

Elaborating on Zimbabwe's decision, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Professor Amon Murwira said Zimbabwe is a strong believer in the UN Charter and all its principles and purposes including the peaceful settlement of disputes.

"The situation in Ukraine is a very complex one and is deeply rooted in the history and geopolitics of that region.  Zimbabwe believes that it is the duty of the international community not to make that situation more complex than it already is. The international community must tirelessly work towards the facilitation of dialogue aimed at finding a durable solution to the situation.

"Zimbabwe is not convinced that the resolution adopted yesterday points in the direction of the dialogue. On the contrary, it poured more fuel to the fire thus further complicating the situation," said Minister Murwira.

He added that Russia is being pushed towards a pariah state through the imposition of economic sanctions as a way of forcing them to stop the military operation.

"Zimbabwe does not support the imposition of unilateral coercive measures or unilateral sanctions of any kind on any member state for that matter, as this is contrary to the United Nations Charter.

"Unilateral sanctions have never worked to resolve any situation. On the contrary, sanctions unleash untold humanitarian crises and suffering of ordinary people.

"Zimbabweans, have been victims of unilateral sanctions for over 20 years and would not wish this on anyone. Dialogue is the way forward."

President Mnangagwa's foreign policy is anchored at being a friend to all and enemy to none through the re-engagement mantra.

The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said: "Zimbabwe, therefore, commends the Russian Federation and Ukraine for initiating dialogue and urges them to intensify their efforts towards finding a durable solution to the conflict taking into account the security interests of both parties."

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is evacuating its citizens who have managed to leave Ukraine to neighbouring countries, mainly Poland.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Zimbabwe also wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade yesterday noting that it can assist in this regard.

"In the context of the special military operation in Ukraine the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation established a hotline for solving humanitarian issues including foreign citizens' appeals for evacuation."

Source - The Herald
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