Ukrainian Charg d Affaires in Egypt Ruslan Nechai. File photo
On Wednesday, Egypt joined 140 countries in voting for a UN resolution calling for a halt to the Russian invasion and an immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from its western neighbour.
The non-binding resolution, passed through a rare emergency session of the 193-member body, comes a week after the Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion in Ukraine.
In a statement on Wednesday after the vote, Ukraine’s embassy in Cairo hailed Egypt’s vote for the resolution, saying that such a stance “proves again how great Egypt is.”
“Great stances are taken only by great countries, and, as always, Egypt stands with the truth,” the embassy said, voicing appreciation for Egypt’s “noble” position.
The embassy lauded President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as “the leader of the Arab world” and thanked him for Egypt’s stance during the vote, which “Ukraine will never forget.”
“It was not surprising that Egypt, with its significance, civilisation and wise leadership, denounced the unjustified brutal Russian aggression against Ukraine,” the embassy added.
Five of the UNGA’s 193 member states - Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Syria, and Russia - voted against the resolution, and 35 nations abstained.
Speaking during the UNGA emergency session on Wednesday, Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the UN Osama Abdel-Khalek said Cairo voted for the resolution given the country’s firm belief in the rules of international law and the principles and goals of the Charter of the United Nations.
In his speech at the UNGA, Abdel-Khalek called for a quick political solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis through peaceful means, warning against the economic and social effects of the current crisis on the entire global economy, which is still suffering from the pandemic’s repercussions.
Russia has drawn global condemnation and was slapped by Western sanctions after it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has claimed the lives of scores and forced hundreds of thousands to flee from the country.
The European Union has slapped several packages of sanctions on Russia including a ban on Europe’s export of specific refining technologies to Russia. Also, countries including the US and UK have introduced several economic sanctions against Moscow to cripple the Russian economy.
On Monday, Germany halted permission for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline designed to double the flow of gas from Russia in response to the attacks.
During the UNGA speech, Abdel-Khalek said Egypt rejects the approach of employing economic sanctions outside the framework of the mechanisms of the multilateral international system.
He warned that similar sanctions in the past had caused “severe negative humanitarian effects” and resulted in the exacerbation of the suffering of millions of people over the past decades.
Immediately after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Cairo has called for upholding dialogue and diplomatic means to resolve the crisis since the first day of the Russian invasion.
Egypt has also extended the stay of tourists affected by the crisis in Ukraine at Egyptian hotels until they can safely return to their countries.
As many as 20,000 Ukrainian tourists are stranded at the Egyptian resorts of Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, and Marsa Allam, Reuters cited Ukrainian embassy officials in Cairo as saying on Thursday.