US and Ukraine vote AGAINST anti-Nazi resolution proposed by Russia at UN General Assembly
Russia-backed resolution against ‘glorification of Nazism’ is backed by Serbia and Turkey and rejected by the United States and Ukraine.
The European Union’s member states have abstained en masse from a United Nations resolution against the ‘glorification of Nazism’.
In all, 155 countries backed the motion, which was presented by Russia on Friday (21 November) under the title “Glorification of Nazism: inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”.
Three countries voted on Friday against the Russian resolution: Ukraine, Canada and the United States.
Speaking to European Voice before the vote, Lithuania’s foreign minister, Linas Linkevičius, said that “no one should doubt that we are condemning fascism”, but, he continued, “under cover of this condemnation, Russia is pursuing its own agenda”.
“De facto, Russia is trying to attack the Baltic states and to determine history in its own way,” he said.
In 1940, the Soviet Union, whose legal successor is Russia, invaded the three Baltic states – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – and occupied them for more than four decades.
In early November, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, defended the Soviet Union’s partition of Poland with Nazi Germany in 1939 under the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. “Serious research has shown that such methods were part of foreign policy at that time,” he said. “The Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Germany… What is wrong here if the Soviet Union did not wish to fight? What is wrong with this?”
Linkevičius said that it was “insulting” that a country “that is conducting aggression against neighbouring states, in a brutal way” – a reference to Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, its annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in March and its continued support for separatists in eastern Ukraine – could put forward this resolution.
Russia’s foreign ministry said that the ‘No’ votes by the US, Canada and Ukraine were “extremely regrettable”, adding that “Ukraine’s position is particularly dispiriting and alarming”.
“One can hardly understand how a country, the people of which suffered their full share of the horrors of Nazism and contributed significantly to our common victory against it, can vote against a resolution condemning its glorification,” the Russian foreign ministry said.
The EU’s decision to abstain from the vote was also maintained by Cyprus and Greece, EU states with traditionally close ties to Russia. Most would-be members of the EU also abstained, including Albania, Iceland, Montenegro and Macedonia.
Serbia and Turkey, both of which are seeking EU membership or have started accession talks, voted with Russia.
The UN vote was discussed by EU foreign ministers last Monday (17 November) at a meeting that saw a number of ministers push for efforts at the EU level to counter what is seen as a long-term campaign by Russia to use propaganda to retain influence over countries in the EU’s and Russia’s shared neighbourhoods.
“If we care about the littering of the oceans, let’s also care about the littering of minds,” Linkevičius said, noting that Russia’s “misleading messages, lies and tricks” have been “really very, very efficient”.