28 Mar 2014

UN rejects annexing of Crimea

11:44 am on 28 March 2014

The United Nations General Assembly has approved a resolution describing the Moscow-backed referendum that led to Russia's annexation of Crimea as illegal.

One hundred countries voted in favour of approving a UN General Assembly resolution declaring the Crimean referendum on 16 March illegal and affirming Ukraine's territorial integrity. The yes votes included New Zealand.

Eleven nations voted against, with 58 abstentions.

"This support has come from all corners of the world which shows that this (is) not only a regional matter but a global one,'' Ukraine's Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia told reporters after the vote.

A former Ukraine military base at Perevalnoye, occupied by Russian forces.

A former Ukraine military base at Perevalnoye, occupied by Russian forces. Photo: AFP

Given that the resolution was non-binding, the vote was largely symbolic, says the BBC.

It comes after the International Monetary Fund ) agreed to a loan deal with Ukraine worth $US14 billion to $US 18 billion, the BBC reports.

The United States Congress also passed legislation on Thursday backing a $US 1 billion loan guarantee for Ukraine.

Tensions are high between Russia and the West after pro-Russian troops annexed Ukraine's southern peninsula.

The West has widely condemned the move, with US President Barack Obama warning on Wednesday of "deeper" European Union and US sanctions against Russia if it carried out further incursions in Ukraine.

Mr Obama made it clear that he believes the West is on the right side of history but it is not going to war over Ukraine, the BBC reports.

But Ukraine hopes the resolution will act as a deterrent and dissuade Moscow from making further incursions into its territory, he said.