UN Committee Condemns Russian Occupation of Crimea
A United Nations committee approved a draft resolution Tuesday condemning Russia's occupation of Crimea and reiterating that it does not accept Russian annexation from Ukraine.
The measure passed by a vote of 73-23 with 76 abstentions. It is expected to pass in the full U.N. General Assembly next month.
The text calls on Russia to uphold its international obligations as an occupying power, to take all steps necessary to immediately end abuses against residents in Crimea, to immediately release all those who were unlawfully detained, and ensure unimpeded access for human rights monitoring missions and workers.
A Russian Foreign Ministry official rejected the draft as one-sided and politically motivated.
"It completely ignores the negative impact that the actions of Ukrainian authorities have had on the residents of Crimea," he said.
Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 after protesters overthrew Kiev's pro-Moscow president. The conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and government troops has claimed the lives of more than 9,500 people.
Trump, Pence Weigh Key Appointments to Their Administration
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence met Tuesday in New York to discuss key appointments in their new government.
The two have more than 4,000 jobs to fill in the U.S. government as they prepare to assume power January 20, but their immediate focus is on filling the top diplomatic post and that of defense secretary, attorney general and Homeland Security chief. All are positions that present the government's face to the world and help lead the country's fight against terrorism.
Trump aides are signaling that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani could be named secretary of state. The 72-year-old Giuliani has no previous foreign policy experience. He was a loyal supporter of Trump during his campaign, often appearing on television news shows to promote the Trump candidacy.
But Trump aides also say the president-elect is considering other names, including that of John Bolton, a hawkish former diplomat who was the country's United Nations ambassador under President George W. Bush. Bolton has been a regular television critic of the foreign policies of President Barack Obama.
One conflict Trump is facing is between his vow during the campaign to "drain the swamp" in official Washington and now his need to find qualified officials with experience to handle the government's most challenging positions.