UNITED NATIONS (March 15, 2014) Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution Saturday that declared Sunday's referendum on the future of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula illegal, but the country’s close ally China abstained from voting, underscoring Moscow's isolation.
Supporters of the U.S.-sponsored resolution knew that Russia would use its veto, but put the resolution to a vote Saturday morning to show the strength of opposition to Moscow's takeover of Crimea.
The other 13 nations voted "yes."
The resolution would have reaffirmed the council's commitment to Ukraine's "sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity."
Meanwhile a spokesman for Ukraine's border guard service says Russian forces seized a natural gas distribution station Saturday near Crimea, the first move outside Crimea, where Russian forces have been in effective control since late last month.
Border guard spokesman Oleg Slobodyan told The Associated Press that a contingent of about 120 troops occupied the station in Strelkova on Saturday.
The Defense Ministry earlier reported that a Russian attempt to take the station had been repelled, but Slobodyan said that information was outdated.