CASTRIES, St Lucia -- The leader of the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM), Therold Prudent, has described as “irresponsible and cowardly” Saint Lucia’s decision to abstain from voting on a UN General Assembly resolution denouncing the recent annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.
The LPM’s reaction comes in the wake of last Thursday’s General Assembly vote, which saw a total of 100 nations, including The Bahamas, Barbados, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti, voting a resounding yes, sending a clear message to Russia that its infringement of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and its violation of international law were unacceptable.
Prudent noted that, while he is fully aware that there was immense pressure from Russia on many foreign governments to either vote no, abstain or boycott the voting altogether, “our nation’s decision to allow itself to fall into one of the three categories which Russia favoured speaks volumes about how desperate we have become for foreign aid even if the financial support we seek is tainted by the suffering of people in foreign lands.”
The LPM leader also stated that, while there's been a renewal of Russian diplomatic interest in Saint Lucia and he understands that great care must, therefore, be exercised in the further development of this relationship, “we cannot turn a blind eye to the resurgence of Russia’s need for territorial expansion in Eastern Europe and its ongoing desire to eventually set up a permanent military base in Nicaragua and other Latin American nations.”
Prudent believes that the current territorial dispute between Nicaragua and Costa Rica presents fertile ground for regional instability should Russia ever succeed in its long-term goal of setting up military bases in Nicaragua and elsewhere.
“Such a situation would only exacerbate the growing tensions between the United States and Russia and help fuel a return to the anti-American sentiments which were so prevalent in the region during the 1970s and 80s,” he added.
In this regard, Prudent called on the government of Saint Lucia to refrain from giving the international community the impression that the nation is devoid of any meaningful conviction on issues that are so critical to achieving global peace and stability or any reason to misinterpret silence as a tacit endorsement of Russia’s blatant disregard for the rule of international law.
Russia received the unequivocal support of only ten nations, among them Venezuela, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria and Zimbabwe.