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The resolution, introduced by Malta on Wednesday, also called for “corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days” to safeguard civilians, particularly children, ambassador Vanessa Frazier told the Council.

It additionally asked for the unconditional release of captives held in Gaza.

It was adopted by 12 votes in favour, zero against and three abstentions – Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/15/unsc-adopts-resolution-calling-for-extended-humanitarian-pauses

The U.S. and Russia often make the opposite vote, but here they both abstained. Is there a reason why Russia would also abstain? I understand the U.S. doesn't want to make Israel mad, so it didn't decide to go against the resolution since the world wants to pass some kind of resolution to alleviate the situation in Gaza, but I don't understand the reasoning behind Russia decision.

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  • Apparently the abstentions happened because the three did not object to the contents but did object to different things which were not said (criticism of Hamas, or an immediate ceasefire)
    – Henry
    Nov 16, 2023 at 14:53
  • Prolly nothing and isn't the real Question, what does Putin have to lose? Nov 17, 2023 at 0:48
  • 2
    Please try and write a title that won't lose its meaning in a week. Probably something like "the UN resolution on corridors through Gaza" instead of "the latest UN resolution"
    – Ben Voigt
    Nov 17, 2023 at 16:25

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It's probably at least in part because Russia proposed an amendment but it got rejected:

Russia proposed an amendment to the resolution before the vote that would have called for durable humanitarian pauses leading to a cease-fire. But it was rejected by a vote of 5-1 with nine abstentions because it failed to get the minimum nine “yes” votes.

That proposal appears similar to Russia's prior attempts/proposal in this regard.

In the four previous tries for Security Council approval, a Brazil-drafted resolution was vetoed by the United States, a U.S.-drafted resolution was vetoed by Russia and China and two Russian-drafted resolutions failed to get the minimum “yes” votes.

In fact, they were quite explicit about the abstention reason:

Vasily Nebenzya, the representative of Russia to the UN, said the reason Russia did not vote in favor of the resolution is the "lack of a call for an immediate cease-fire.”

"This was, and remains, the top imperative. Any humanitarian actions require an immediate end to the fighting," he added.

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  • I really dislike whattabout arguments, mostly because they're usually used against the US (the US did this? whattabout when they did that?) But this reasoning by the Russians is really calling for it.
    – CGCampbell
    Nov 17, 2023 at 13:37

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