UN resolution on illegality of Crimea's referendum vetoedListen /
A United Nations resolution on the illegality of Crimea's referendum was vetoed on Saturday during a Security Council meeting.
Thirteen of the 15 members of the Council voted in favour of the resolution. Russia voted against it, China abstained. One veto is enough to block the resolution from being adopted.
Crimea is holding a referendum on 16 March to decide whether to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.
However, the UN resolution reaffirms Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
France said Russia was "isolated" and described its veto against the resolution as "a veto against the UN Charter".
Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN said Russia may have the ability to block the resolution but it cannot "veto" the truth.
"The whole world knows that the referendum scheduled for tomorrow in Crimea was hatched in the Kremlin and midwived by the Russian military. It is inconsistent with Ukraine's constitution and international law, it is illegitimate and it will have no legal effect."
Speaking through a translator, Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said his country rejected the resolution's basic assumption that the referendum was illegal and that Moscow would respect the decision of the Crimeans.
"Madam Power spoke of the dreams and aspirations but why are you negating the right of the people of Crimea to express their will during the referendum tomorrow?"
Meanwhile, the situation on the ground has changed, according to Ukraine's permanent representative to the UN, Yuriy Sergeyev, because of the presence of "paratroopers and other forces that have landed on Ukraine's mainland".
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.