The United Nations adopts a resolution on Russia’s compensation for Ukraine’s losses from the war

On Monday, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution on a compensation mechanism to be paid by Russia for the human and material damage caused by its invasion of Ukraine.

And unlike the UN Security Council, where Russia has veto power, Moscow could not block the adoption of the resolution proposed by Ukraine, Canada, the Netherlands and Guatemala and approved by a majority of 94 votes, less than the 143 votes that approved on October 12 a resolution condemning Russia’s “illegal annexation”. for Ukrainian regions.

14 countries voted against the resolution, most notably Russia, China, Cuba, Mali and Ethiopia, while 73 countries abstained from voting, mostly from the African continent, in addition to Brazil, Israel and India.

The resolution demands that Russia bear “responsibility for any violation” of international law and the Charter of the United Nations in Ukraine, and that it “bear the legal consequences of all its illegal actions at the international level, in particular through compensation for damage” material and human.

It also stipulates the “need” to create a “compensation mechanism in cooperation with Ukraine” and an “international registry of damages to include (…) evidence and information on compensation claims” from natural and legal persons and the Ukrainian government.

“Ukraine will undertake the arduous task of rebuilding the country and recovering after the war. But recovery will never be complete without a sense of justice for the victims of the Russian war,” Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Sergey Kislitsa, said from the rostrum of the General Assembly.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the UN resolution.

“From the liberation of Kherson to the diplomatic victory in New York – the UN General Assembly has just given the go-ahead for the creation of a reparations mechanism from Russia for crimes committed in Ukraine,” Zelensky said on Twitter. “The aggressor will pay for his act.”

At the UN headquarters in New York, the Russian representative denounced what he saw as Western countries’ desire to legitimize in advance the use of “billions of dollars” of frozen Russian assets to punish Moscow, including through arms purchases to Ukraine.

“The decision will not be binding, but it will provide a political basis for Ukraine to pave the way for compensation from Russia,” International Crisis Group analyst Richard Gowan told AFP before the hearing. “The registry of the proposed damages will make it possible to determine what is owed to Ukraine,” he added.

During his speech, the Ukrainian ambassador referred to the example of the Compensation Committee established by the United Nations between 1991 and 2022, which enabled Kuwait to obtain 52.4 billion dollars from Iraq in compensation for the damage caused by its invasion in August 1990, and the UN Security Council had established that committee. .

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