Guyana abstains on UN resolution declaring Crimea referendum invalid
-foreign minister calls for de-escalation of crisis, search for durable solution
Guyana on Thursday abstained from voting on a UN General Assembly resolution which declared as invalid, Crimea’s Russia-backed referendum which resulted in its declaration of secession from Ukraine.
The vote at UN Headquart-ers in New York was eventually carried by a margin of 100 in favour, 11 against and 58 abstentions. The abstention by Guyana and several Caricom countries has sparked consternation in diplomatic circles and among local analysts. Analysts here say George-town’s abstention is particularly disturbing as it undermines trip lines which can protect it from aggression from both its eastern and western neighbours with whom there have been longstanding frontier tensions. The observers note that the use of Russian-backed forces to occupy Crimea, the hastily arranged referendum to pave the way for the secession vote and Russia’s eventual incorporation of the territory are redolent of the dangers that Guyana has faced on its western border with the seizure by Venezuela of Guyana’s half of Ankoko Island in 1966. The use of force also runs counter to Guyana’s more recent concerns about the eviction of an oil rig from Guyana’s waters by the Suriname navy in 2000 and last year’s interception by Venezuela’s navy of a research vessel in Guyana’s waters.