The UN General Assembly [official website] approved a resolution [press release] on Thursday declaring the Crimean referendum to secede from Ukraine invalid. The resolution calls upon all UN states, international organizations and specialty agencies not to recognize any change in status of the Crimean region despite the referendum [JURIST report]. The UN gained broad support for the resolution as 100 states voted in favor, outnumbering the 11 votes against and 58 abstentions. The US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power [official website] stated in regards to the vote that "the draft resolution was about only one issue: affirming a commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine." The Russian Federation representative asked the UN to respect the voluntary choice made by Crimea and not refuse their right to self determination.
The Crimean annexation [JURIST feature] has been a heavily disputed topic within international affairs. The conflict [BBC timeline] in Ukraine has reinvigorated fears of Cold War Era politics and increased tension between Russia and the West. The conflict in Ukraine followed a number of protests [JURIST podcast] over the suspension of negotiations on a long-expected trade deal between Ukraine and the EU. Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin finalized [JURIST report] the annexation of Crimea. Also last week Putin and representatives of Crimea signed a treaty [JURIST report] to incorporate Crimea into the Russian Federation. Earlier in March US President Barack Obama condemned [JURIST report] Russia's military intervention in the region as a violation of international law.