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In the recent UN General Assembly resolution denouncing Russia's actions in Ukraine, only four countries were opposed, besides Russia itself.

We have Belarus, a close ally of Russia that is involved in the war; North Korea, whose leader is authoritarian, has strong historical ties with Russia, and harbors irredentist ambitions of his own relative to a neighbor; and Syria, which has grown close with Russia as the latter funds the government in its civil war.

And then there is Eritrea. It has somewhat warm relations with Russia, but most countries with very close relations with Russia (such as Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, or Nicaragua) either abstained or voted in favor of the resolution.

Did the Eritrean delegation provide any reasoning about their vote in favor of Russia?

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  • 12
    +1 for irredentist; learn something every day...
    – dandavis
    Mar 2 at 21:12

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Amanuel Giorgio, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Eritrea gave the following reasoning in a speech (press release) after the conclusion of the vote in the Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly:

Eritrea firmly believes that respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter, are sacrosanct principles and should be respected by everyone, at all times, for the attainment of sustainable world peace.

Eritrea’s vote is a demonstration of its uncompromising stand for peace. Its position is against internationalizing, incessant rhetoric, and impositions of unilateral sanctions, which regrettably further polarize international relations and escalate the situation with enormous implications for civilians. Instead, we have consistently opted for world regions to be given the needed space and solidarity to address political problems.

The situation between Russia and Ukraine raises serious concern with political, economic and security ramifications for Europe and the rest of the world. It requires immediate resolution by giving more chances to diplomacy. We hope that the ongoing talks between the two parties on the Belarusian border yield a quick and acceptable agreement to stop the war and pave a foundation for peace in the region.

Eritrea opposes all forms of unilateral sanction as illegal and counterproductive. Eritrea, as a country that has been subjected to such measures by the West for two decades, including new sets of unilateral measures, understands that sanctions do not resolve problems of peace and security. On the contrary, they only hurt innocent people and undermine the road to peace.

It will be remiss if I don’t address disturbing reports that African citizens living in Ukraine are facing difficulties to cross the borders. We call on all countries to facilitate safe passages to people fleeing for safety regardless of their racial identity.

Let me conclude by reiterating that Eritrea would like to see that the windows for diplomacy remain open. We are confident of the ability of the parties to resolve their differences and reach an outcome that meets the interests and concerns of all. We hope that the international community constructively supports the parties in their search for sustainable peace.

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