Russian Ambassador to United Nations Vassily Nebenzia exercises his country's veto power as one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council during a vote on a resolution intended to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine and demand the withdrawal of all Russian troops at United Nations headquarters in New York City on Friday. Photo by Justin Lane/EPA-EFE
Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Russia on Friday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the country's invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, was the only person to vote against the resolution, with 11 countries voting in favor.
As one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Russia -- along with China, France, Britain and the United States -- have the power to veto any resolution regardless of its international support.
Three countries -- China, India and the United Arab Emirates -- abstained from voting during the meeting in New York City. China has been reluctant to criticize Russia's invasion, which began Thursday, but Chinese President Xi Jinping encouraged Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate an end to the crisis with Ukraine.
The U.N. General Assembly is now expected to take up the resolution for consideration.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield criticized Russia's veto, saying the country "will not veto accountability."
"Russia can veto this resolution, but cannot veto our voices," she tweeted.
Speaking before the U.N. Security Council, Thomas-Greenfield accused Russia of inflicting "untold suffering" on Ukrainian civilians.
"Russia's latest attack on our most fundamental principles is so bold, so brazen that it threatens our international system as we know it. We have a solemn obligation to not look away," she said.
"Russia chose to violate Ukraine's sovereignty, to violate international law, to violate the U.N. charter."
European Union leaders attend a summit at the Chateau de Versailles near Paris on March 11, 2022. Photo by the European Union/ UPI | License Photo