The UN calls for Ukraine reparations from Russia
On Monday, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Russia to be held accountable for breaking the law by invading Ukraine and occupying Ukrainian territory.
Last month in the UN General Assembly, 143 members voted to condemn Russia's illegal annexation of four regions in Ukraine. Now, the UN is also looking to make Russia pay up.
On Monday, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Russia to be held accountable for breaking the law by invading Ukraine and occupying Ukrainian territory. The UN is demanding it pay reparations for the damage and loss of life caused by the war. 94 members voted in favor of the resolution, 14 were against it (including China, North Korea and Iran), and 73 abstained. Although UN resolutions are symbolic, they aren't easily enforced.
Russia is not happy about this. It rejected the demand – to no one's surprise. On Tuesday, the Kremlin said it would do anything possible to keep the West from taking its frozen international reserves and using these assets as reparations for Ukraine. These reserves amount to more than US$300 billion. On top of that, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov refused Russian participation in restoring the Ukrainian infrastructure damaged during the war.
"The reparations that Russia will have to pay … are now part of the international legal reality," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
The resolution states that Russia "must bear the legal consequences of all its internationally wrongful acts, including making reparation for injury, including any damage, caused by such acts."
"The countries of the West never considered reparations as a way of atoning for their own sins," said Vassily Nebenzia, Russia's ambassador to the UN. "The West is trying to draw out and worsen the conflict and plans to use Russian money for it."
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov is accusing Western countries of "racketeering" and "violating all the foundations and rules of private property and international law."