"The result of the vote is as follows: in favor — 66, against — 19, abstention — 72. Draft resolution [titled Militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine), as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov] is adopted," a UN official presiding over the plenary meeting announced on Monday.
The document also expresses its concern over "multiple military exercises of Russian armed forces held in Crimea, which can undermine regional security and entail considerable long-term negative environmental consequences in the region." The resolution condemns the building of the Kerch Strait bridge between Russia and the Crimean peninsula, the growing military presence of Russia in the region, and the country’s alleged harassment of commercial vessels and restriction of international shipping.
Moreover, the document states that it is alarmed by the militarization of parts of the Black Sea surrounding the Crimea and the Sea of Azov by Russia adding that these actions "pose further threats to Ukraine and undermine the stability of the broader region."
The list of the co-sponsors of the draft resolution includes France, Georgia, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Moldova, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among others.
Commenting on the approval of the Ukraine-sponsored draft resolution, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy said that it is disappointing to observe the "extremely politicized" document being adopted by the United Nations.
"It is disappointing that Kiev and its Western sponsors of the General Assembly have submitted yet another extremely politicized and mendacious subject," Polyanskiy said on Monday. "We regret the vote that has happened, but we are heartened that many states abstained not wishing to have anything with this pernicious Ukrainian enterprise."
The resolution follows the recent incident in the Kerch Strait that connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The document urges Russia to stop restricting international navigation in the region.
Following the incident, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree declaring martial law in several Ukrainian regions located near the Russian border. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the incident was a provocation prepared in advance as a pretext to introduce martial law ahead of Ukraine's presidential election.
Crimea rejoined Russia in 2014, when 97 percent of those who participated in the referendum on the matter supported the reunification. The results of the vote were rejected by almost all countries, including Ukraine, which insists that Crimea is still a part of its territory. Moscow, in turn, repeatedly stated that the referendum was held in accordance with international law and was legitimate, stressing that Crimean residents voluntarily chose to rejoin Russia.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday Moscow was sure Kiev would continue provocations on the Russian border, stressing that he had information about Poroshenko planning a provocative incident for the end of December. The Russian foreign minister pledged a harsh response in case Poroshenko went ahead with the plans.