PPolitical support from New York, pledges of new weapons from Brussels – Ukraine has received support for its defense against the Russian invasion on two international stages. The United Nations General Assembly condemned Moscow’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories by a large majority and declared it null and void. 143 of the 193 member states voted in New York on Wednesday for a corresponding resolution – 5 countries voted against, 35 abstained.
At a meeting of the Ukraine contact group in Brussels, many states pledged new anti-aircraft and missile defense weapons, according to Kiev. The group of about 50 states coordinates military aid. “This is historic because decisions were made to close the skies over Ukraine,” Ukraine’s Presidential Office head Andrei Yermak wrote on Twitter. Russia had fired massive rockets at major Ukrainian cities since Monday. Thursday marks the 232nd day of the war in Ukraine.
Russia isolated in the United Nations
In its resolution, the UN General Assembly called on Russia to undo the annexation of the partially occupied regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Cherson. At the end of September, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin announced the annexation after mock referendums. The UN resolution is not binding under international law. However, it is considered a strong political sign and reveals Moscow’s international isolation. Only Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua and Syria voted with Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed the decision as historic: “The world has spoken – Russia’s attempted annexation is worthless and will never be recognized by free nations,” he wrote on Twitter. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sees the majority as a strong sign of international unity. The condemnation was even clearer in a UN vote in March against the Russian invasion – at that time 141 countries opposed Moscow.
Brazil, Turkey and Saudi Arabia also voted in favor of the resolution on Wednesday. With China and India, however, two powerful states with a population of around 2.8 billion abstained. More than a dozen African countries also abstained.
Ukraine grateful for new anti-aircraft weapons
Thanks to Russian rocket terror, the world understands that protecting the skies over Ukraine “is one of Europe’s most important humanitarian tasks in our time,” Zelensky said. He thanked all partners who are stepping up their efforts for effective Ukrainian air defense. He did not give details; and not all commitments by defense ministers in the so-called Ramstein format in Brussels on Wednesday were made public.
But the British government announced that it would be delivering AMRAAM anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine for the first time. The missiles, in conjunction with the US-promised NASAMS air defense system, can intercept cruise missiles. The Ministry of Defense in London announced on Thursday night that they should be brought to Ukraine in the coming weeks: “The missiles will help protect Ukraine’s critical infrastructure.”
In addition, London wants to deliver hundreds of other types of anti-aircraft missiles, 18 artillery pieces and hundreds of reconnaissance drones to Ukraine. For France, President Emmanuel Macron announced new arms deliveries, including anti-aircraft weapons. Germany has just sent a state-of-the-art Iris-T SLM air defense system to Ukraine, with more to come.