Full UN Security Council votes support on Ukraine cease-fire

AP News
Posted: Feb 17, 2015 3:36 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a Russian-drafted resolution that endorses the new cease-fire agreement on Ukraine, stresses the country's independence and calls on all parties involved to fully carry it out.

An expected vote over the weekend was delayed when other council members pressed Russia to add language about Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the passenger jet that was shot down last year over rebel-held eastern Ukraine. Council members said they wanted to make sure the 298 victims were not forgotten.

The resolution now reaffirms last year's council resolution that calls for an independent investigation into the crash and for those responsible to be held accountable.

And notably, the word "independence" was added to the resolution when referring to the "sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," something that Western diplomats have insisted that any U.N. resolution reaffirm.

Even while supporting the resolution Tuesday, the United States and other council members spoke with scorn. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power called Russia's drafting of it "ironic, to say the least" while it is "backing an all-out assault" in Ukraine.

Council members have repeatedly accused Russia of backing the separatists in eastern Ukraine, while Russia denies it.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the council, which has been deadlocked on Ukraine because of a possible veto by Russia as a permanent council member, must play a full role in ensuring compliance with the cease-fire, including "willingness to take further steps in the event it is not implemented."

He said the "flagrant disregard" for the cease-fire that started just after midnight Sunday disconcerting and called on Russia to "deliver on the promises it has made."

Russia last year offered a few resolutions calling for a cease-fire, but they were unpopular with council members who were angry over its annexation of Crimea early in the crisis. The United States quickly denounced one draft that called for establishing humanitarian aid corridors in the region as "hypocritical."