(December 18, 2018 / JNS) Israel voted in favor of a U.N. General Assembly resolution on Monday condemning the Russian occupation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.
The resolution calls on Russia to withdraw armed forces from what the signers call “temporarily occupied” Crimea. It also condemns the growing military presence of Russia in the Black and Azov seas, and obstruction of navigation.
The final tally was 66-19 with 72 abstentions.
“It’s certainly an important and necessary step; that said, words alone will not end Putin’s aggression. The West in particular should do more; Putin’s aggression is a warning,” Anna Borshchevskaya of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy told JNS. “Without a clear strategy to counter the Kremlin, Putin is likely to continue slowly choking Ukraine.”
“Recall that the U.N. passed a resolution condemning Russia’s aggression against in 2014 when it first annexed Crimea, and recall that Putin broke international law when he did this, but Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine continued,” she added.
Israel has since voted several times in favor of U.N. resolutions condemning Russia over the matter. Relations between Jerusalem and Moscow have deteriorated since Israel allegedly shot down a Russian plane in September.
“Israel’s vote comes at a difficult time in the Russia-Israel relationship,” noted Borshchevskaya. “The fact of the matter is Putin favors Shia forces in the region, no matter how much he presents himself as a neutral broker.”
“Moscow continues to blame Israel for Assad’s downing of the Russian plane—an absurd accusation, though it’s not surprising that Moscow continues to stick with it,” she said. “And just two weeks ago, Russia voted against Israel in a resolution at the U.N. that condemned Hamas.”