Serbia Backs Russia Again in UN Vote on Crimea

Serbia on Monday was among 17 countries that voted against the latest United Nations resolution calling on Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, which Moscow occupied and then annexed in 2014.

Armenia, Belarus, Cambodia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Russia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe also voted against the resolution, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly.

No other Balkan state joined Serbia in voting against the resolution, which urged Russia "as the occupying power, [to] immediately, completely and unconditionally to withdraw its military forces from Crimea and end its temporary occupation of the territory of Ukraine without delay". Bosnia and Herzegovina was among the countries that abstained.

The UN resolution also expressed concern over what it called the "continuing destabilisation of Crimea owing to transfers by the Russian Federation of advanced weapon systems, including nuclear-capable aircraft and missiles, weapons, ammunition and military personnel to the territory of Ukraine".

Votes on the Crimea resolution on Monday. Screenshot: UN Web TV.

Serbia has repeatedly backed its ally Russia over the Crimea annexation in previous UN General Assembly votes.

In 2016, Serbia's then Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic explained that "it would be difficult to maintain such good relations with Russia in the future if we joined the resolution".

Russia meanwhile backs Serbia in opposing the independence of Kosovo.

However, as an EU candidate country, Serbia is also under pressure to align its foreign policy stances with the European bloc as part of its accession process.

The deputy head of the EU's delegation to the UN,...

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