Statement of President Joe Biden on the United Nations General Assembly Vote Condemning Russia’s Illegal Attempts to Annex Ukrainian Territory

October 12, 2022

Today, the overwhelming majority of the world—nations from every region, large and small, representing a wide array of ideologies and governments – voted to defend the United Nations Charter and condemn Russia’s illegal attempt to annex Ukrainian territory by force. 143 nations stood on the side of freedom, sovereignty, and territorial integrity—even more than the 141 nations that voted in March to unequivocally condemn Russia’s war against Ukraine. Only 4 chose to side with Russia—Belarus, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, and Syria.

By attacking the core tenets of the UN Charter, Russia is tearing at the very foundations of international peace and security. The stakes of this conflict are clear to all—and the world has sent a clear message in response: Russia cannot erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia cannot change borders by force. Russia cannot seize another country’s territory as its own. Ukraine is entitled to the same rights as every other sovereign country. It must be able to choose its own future, and its people must be able to live peacefully inside its internationally recognized borders.

Nearly eight months into this war, the world has just demonstrated that it is more united, and more determined than ever to hold Russia accountable for its violations. Together with the UN General Assembly, we will not tolerate illegal attempts at annexation or the theft of a neighbor’s land by force. We will stand up for international law, the UN Charter, and the rights and protections it affords to Ukraine and its people – and to every state and people everywhere.