Russia on Friday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution telling Moscow to stop attacking Ukraine and withdraw all troops immediately.
The veto was expected, but the United States and its supporters argued that the effort would highlight Moscow’s international isolation.
The 11-1 vote — with China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstaining — showed significant but not total opposition to Russia’s invasion of its smaller, militarily weaker neighbor.
The resolution’s failure paves the way for backers to call for a swift vote on a similar measure in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, where there are no vetoes. There was no immediate timetable for a potential Assembly vote.
Spearheaded by the U.S. and Albania, the Security Council resolution would have deplored Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine. It called for Moscow immediately to pull out its military and stop using force against Ukraine, and to reverse a decision to recognize two separatist areas in eastern Ukraine as independent.
Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions aren’t legally binding, but they can function as statements of world opinion. In an Assembly meeting Wednesday as Moscow’s invasion loomed, dozens of countries condemned Russia or expressed solidarity with Ukraine. Russia and ally Syria defended Moscow’s moves.