Seventeen African countries abstained from voting against Russia at the UN General Assembly.
Zimbabwe says the vote is not in the best interest of solving the crisis. The country says the historic United Nations (UN) vote denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “further complicates the situation”.
Zimbabwe, along with South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo Brazzaville, Burundi, Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda, Mali, Sudan, Guinea, Gambia, Algeria, and Madagascar are the African countries that abstained from the vote.
The vote had been criticized by diplomats as the right step towards democracy in a world where autocracy is on the rise, and came as Putin’s forces bear down on Kyiv while terrified Ukrainians flee.
“They have come to deprive Ukraine of the very right to exist,” Ukraine’s ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the Assembly ahead of the vote.
“It’s already clear that the goal of Russia is not an occupation only. It is genocide.”
In a statement, Zimbabwe’s foreign service said it didn’t support sanctions proposed against Russia because, as a matter of principle, Harare was against sanctions on anyone.
43 African leaders attended the Russia-Africa Summit held in 2019, where trade and diplomatic relations had increased between Russian and African leaders in the energy and mining industries.
Between 2016-2020, Russia made a return to Africa as a trade and diplomatic partner.
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Moscow pleaded “self-defense” under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
However, that has been roundly rejected by Western countries who accuse Moscow of violating Article 2 of the Charter, requiring UN members to refrain from the threat or use of force to resolve a crisis.