Azerbaijan backs UN resolution condemning Crimea vote

Azerbaijan backs UN resolution condemning Crimea vote

The UN General Assembly has approved a resolution describing the Moscow-backed referendum that led to Russia's annexation of Crimea as illegal.

It comes after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to a loan deal with Ukraine worth $14-18bn.

The US Congress also passed legislation on Thursday backing a $1bn loan guarantee for Ukraine.

Tensions are high between Russia and the West after pro-Russian troops annexed Ukraine's southern peninsula.

The West has widely condemned the move, with US President Barack Obama warning on Wednesday of "deeper" EU and US sanctions against Russia if it carried out further incursions in Ukraine.

One hundred countries, including Azerbaijan, voted in favour of approving a UN General Assembly resolution declaring the Crimean referendum on 16 March illegal and affirming Ukraine's territorial integrity.

Eleven nations, including Armenia, Russia and Belarus, voted against, with 58 abstentions.

"This support has come from all corners of the world which shows that this (is) not only a regional matter but a global one,'' Ukraine's Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia told reporters after the vote.

But Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said "the fact that almost half" of the UN General Assembly members had not supported the resolution was "a very encouraging trend and I think this trend will become stronger and stronger".

Given that the resolution was non-binding, the vote was largely symbolic, says the BBC's Nick Bryant in New York.

But Ukraine hopes the resolution will act as a deterrent and dissuade Moscow from making further incursions into its territory, he adds.


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