Costa Rica speaks out on Crimea at U.N. session

Costa Rica has raised its voice in the debate against Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea. Eduardo Ulibarri, the country’s ambassador to the United Nations, took part in the Thursday vote in the General Assembly that declared Russia’s actions as illegal.

In response to the resolution on hand, he spoke to the importance of maintaining the well-being of smaller nations like Costa Rica. “We only have international law to protect our sovereignty, defend our integrity, strengthen our security, and consolidate our peace,” Ulibarri said.

Ulibarri, the former La Nación editor-in-chief, stressed that U.N. principles and bylaws must be followed by member nations. If they are repeatedly ignored, he said, smaller countries are susceptible to potential abuse from larger powers.

“Costa Rica has no such powers nor means to defend itself against external aggressions,” he said. “Our weapon is international law. We see in this resolution a way to reaffirm and defend that. If we don’t protest these serious actions now, we create the conditions for more, and possibly worse, violations in the future.”

He alluded to the fact that U.N. members, including Russia, agreed to not invade Ukraine in 1994 after the country renounced chemical weaponry. He added that countries too often deploy their troops into foreign territory without first opening up the doors for stronger dialogue or mediation.

Proposed by Ukraine, the resolution received 100 votes in favor and only 11 against, further adding to the already pervasive disapproval of President Vladimir Putin’s actions.

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