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Russia quits Human Rights Council following suspension by UN

Russia's Deputy UN Ambassador Gennady Kuzmin terms move as illegitimate

The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday has suspended Russia from the UN Human Rights Council after receiving reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine, leading Moscow to announce that it was quitting the body.

The US-led move acquired 93 votes in favor, while 24 countries voted no and 58 countries abstained. A two-thirds majority of voting members in the 193-member General Assembly in New York was required to suspend or eject from the Human Rights Council.

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Speaking after the vote, Russia’s deputy UN Ambassador Gennady Kuzmin termed the move as an “illegitimate and politically motivated step”. He then proclaimed that Russia would quit the Human Rights Council altogether.

Responding to the move, Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya  said, “You do not submit your resignation after you are fired.”

Russia was currently in its second year of a three-year total term. Under Thursday’s resolution, the General Assembly could have agreed to end the suspension at a later time. But after Russia’s withdrawal from the council, that cannot happen now. United States did in 2018 also quit the council over what it said was chronic bias against Israel and a lack of reform.

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