In a new resolution, the UN General Assembly has declared the Moscow-backed referendum that led to Russia’s annexation of Crimea as illegal.
The move comes after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to a loan deal with Ukraine worth $14-18 billion.
The US Congress also passed legislation on Thursday backing a $1 billion loan guarantee for Ukraine.
Tensions are high between Russia and the West after pro-Russian troops annexed Ukraine’s southern peninsula.
The West has widely condemned the move, with President Barack Obama warning on Wednesday of “deeper” EU and US sanctions against Russia if it carried out further incursions in Ukraine.
One hundred countries voted in favor of approving a UN General Assembly resolution declaring the Crimean referendum on March 16 illegal and affirming Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Eleven nations voted against, with 58 abstentions.
“This support has come from all corners of the world which shows that this (is) not only a regional matter but a global one,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia told reporters after the vote.
Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said “the fact that almost half” of the UN General Assembly members had not supported the resolution was “a very encouraging trend and I think this trend will become stronger and stronger”.
Given that the resolution was non-binding, the vote was largely symbolic.
But Ukraine hopes the resolution will act as a deterrent and dissuade Moscow from making further incursions into its territory.
Barack Obama said the IMF announcement, which would unlock a further $10 billion in loans for Ukraine, was a “major step forward” to help stabilize the country’s economy and meet the long-term needs of its people.
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