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Micronesian nations join UN's demand for Russia to leave Ukraine

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

Micronesian nations have joined the international community in demanding Russia's immediate retreat from Ukraine, one year after Moscow's invasion which resulted in a protracted war that left tens of thousands of people dead.

The Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Nauru and Kiribati—which make up the Micronesian Presidents Summit— were among the 141 counties that voted in favor of the UN’s non-binding resolution calling on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

Seven voted no and 32 abstained, including China.

“The five presidents agreed that the rule of law, the international rules-based order, and respect for sovereignty and human rights must prevail—and, as such, the five presidents called upon the international community to help toward reinstating peace and stability in Ukraine,” MPS said in a statement after last week's meeting.

“The global community should not and cannot ignore this important issue,” FSM President David Panuelo said. “The assault on Ukraine is an assault on democracy itself, and as the FSM is a democracy, so too do we continue to stand with the people and government of Ukraine.”

Photo courtesy of UN

Member nations met at a special session of the UN General Assembly on Thursday to condemn the Feb. 24, 2022 invasion, which Secretary General Antonio Guterres earlier called an “affront to our collective conscience.”

The UN resolution reaffirmed the assembly's "commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters."

The assembly also stressed the need "to ensure accountability for the most serious crimes under international law committed in Ukraine through independent national or international investigations and prosecutions to ensure justice for all victims and the prevention of future crimes."

In Washington D.C., Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken issued a statement, noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who started the war, has the power to end it.

"President Putin’s decision has ripped apart families, forced millions from their communities, destroyed homes, schools, hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure, exacerbated a global food crisis, destabilized energy markets, and undermined international peace and security," Blinken said.

"This war has shredded Russia’s international reputation, left Russia weakened and isolated, and decimated its economy. This war is an attempt to seize territory from Ukraine and thwart its independent, democratic trajectory," he added.

Blinken said the United States "stands strongly with Ukraine as it defends itself, and we will continue to do so until Ukraine’s sovereignty is respected and the people of Ukraine can shape their chosen, democratic future in freedom and peace."

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