Western powers had to "twist the arms" of some 50 countries to get their support for the UN General Assembly resolution on Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Sergei Brilev's Vesti v Subbotu (News on Saturday) television programme on March 29.
"This is done using different ways. For starters, our Ukrainian neighbours were advised to make the text as non-confrontational and balanced as it could only be and to state 'positively' that the territorial integrity of Ukraine should be respected. Who would have objected? But that's not even a half of the truth, it's just a tiny bit of it… after that, counting on one's naivete, they say: 'What a good resolution! Just sign it and become a co-author," Lavrov said.
"To others, who are more experienced and understand what this means, they say: 'If you do not support this resolution, you will face consequences. And specify what they will be like. We know this. Colleagues come and tell us privately why this or that minor country had to give in. For example, certain contracts will not be signed or political dividends will be recalled. Since the Western group, in its broad meaning, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan and some other countries, is composed of some 40-odd countries, they 'twisted the arms' of about 50 other countries or convinced them in other ways," Lavrov said.
He stressed that Russia was harbouring "no negative feelings against these delegations. And this will not affect our bilateral relations".
Strong pressure was put on countries before the vote on the Ukraine resolution, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday, March 27, after the vote on the Ukraine resolution in the UN General Assembly.
"Many complained that they were experiencing enormous pressure from Western powers to make them vote in support of this resolution," he said, adding that "the pressure produced certain effect". "Some countries voted grudgingly, shall I say, and complained to us about the strong pressure they had experienced," the diplomat said.
The resolution against the secession referendum in Crimea, which was part of Ukraine but seceded from it and reunified with Russia last week, was passed by a 100-11 vote with 58 abstentions.
Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria, and Sudan voted against the resolution.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Guyana, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Rwanda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Swaziland, Uganda, Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam abstained.
The document urges countries not to recognise Crimea's accession to Russia after the referendum held on March 16.
Unlike UN Security Council resolutions, those adopted by the UN General Assembly are not binding and are advisory in nature.
Churkin said the results of the vote showed that Russia was not in isolation in this situation. "This is a rather good result for us. We have won a moral and political victory. There can be no question of Russia's isolation in this situation," the diplomat said.
The resolution is "confrontational in nature", Churkn said. "Russia's attitude towards the proposed draft resolution is negative. It is confrontational in nature," he said before the vote in the UN General Assembly.
He believes that the document "is trying to call into doubt the significance of the referendum in Crimea, which has already played its historic role".
"Challenging it would be counterproductive," Churkin noted.