Zimbabwe has explained the rationale behind its decision to abstain from voting against Russia when the United Nations General Assembly put the Ukraine crisis for a vote on Wednesday.
The vote was 141 to 5, with 35 abstentions. It came after the 193-member assembly convened its first emergency session since 1997.
In a statement, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Amon Murirwa, said Zimbabwe prefers dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, instead of sanctions as they will only worsen human suffering. The statement read:
As you are aware, there was a vote in the UN General Assembly yesterday 2 March 2022, on a resolution on Ukraine. Zimbabwe abstained in that vote.
We wish to assure you that Zimbabwe is a strong believer in the United Nations Charter and all its principles and purposes including the peaceful settlement of disputes.
The situation in Ukraine is a very complex one and is deeply rooted in the history and geopolitics of that region.
Zimbabwe believes that it is the duty of the international community not to make that situation more complex than it already is.
The International Community must tirelessly work towards the facilitation of dialogue aimed at finding a durable solution to the situation.
Zimbabwe is not convinced that the resolution adopted yesterday points in the direction of dialogue. On the contrary, it poured more fuel into the fire thus further complicating the situation.
As you know, Zimbabwe does not support the imposition of unilateral coercive measures or unilateral sanctions of any kind on any member state for that matter, as this is contrary to the United Nations Charter. Unilateral sanctions have never worked to resolve any situation.
On the contrary, sanctions unleash untold humanitarian crises and the human suffering of ordinary people.
Zimbabweans, have been victims of unilateral sanctions for over 20 years and would not wish this on anyone. Dialogue is the way forward.
Zimbabwe, therefore, commends the Russian Federation and Ukraine for initiating dialogue and urge them to intensify their efforts towards finding a durable solution to the conflict taking into account the security interests of both parties.
It is for these reasons that Zimbabwe abstained from the vote on the resolution on Ukraine in the UN General Assembly on 2 March 2022.