‘WAIT AND SEE’: CARICOM could join in imposing sanctions on Russia but awaiting UN vote, says PM

‘WAIT AND SEE’: CARICOM could join in imposing sanctions on Russia but awaiting UN vote, says PM
Regional leaders attend the 33rd Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, in March 2022.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas yesterday joined the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in an overwhelming historic vote on a resolution to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and call on Moscow to immediately withdraw all forces from the country.

The resolution, which won support from 141 countries of the 193-member body, came at the end of a rare emergency “Uniting for Peace” session of the General Assembly called by the Security Council.

We must use our voice to ensure the principle of territorial integrity and self-determination.

– Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell 

British High Commissioner to The Bahamas Sarah Dickson lauded the vote of both the United Kingdom and The Bahamas in a Twitter post standing with Ukraine.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis (left) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell in Belize. (BIS)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell told Eyewitness News that the government of The Bahamas continues to support the international community in denouncing the invasion.

“We must use our voice to ensure the principle of territorial integrity and self-determination,” Mitchell said.

“This is not only our position but a regional and hemispheric position of principle.”

Mitchell is currently in Belize with Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis for the 33rd Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Davis earlier said he intended to raise the issue of how the Russia-Ukraine war will impact the region, given the rise in gas prices and the expected consequences for electricity, travel and more.

But yesterday he said that in light of the UN vote, the regional body has decided to “sit back and wait” to see whether the UN Security Council will pass a resolution for member states to impose sanctions on Russia, a move aimed to politically isolate the Kremlin.

“We today issued a very strong statement in support of the UN charter that protects and preserves countries’ territorial integrity and their sovereignty,” Davis said in a video message.

“Flowing from that is a question of whether sanctions will be imposed by CARICOM states.

A Ukrainian soldier inspects a damaged military vehicle after fighting in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. (AP/MARIENKO ANDREW)

“The general consensus is that until the UN Security Council would pass a resolution to confirm that member states ought to impose sanctions, we have decided to just sit back and wait to abide the outcome of such resolution.”

The United States, the European Union and global organizations across the world have moved to impose strict sanctions on Russia and essentially cut the Kremlin off from its participation in international activities.

As Western nations tighten the economic noose around Russia’s neck, the country’s military forces continued to pound Ukraine’s cities and its capital, Kyiv, with airstrikes for a seventh day, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee the war-torn areas.

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine have yet to yield any results.

On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a directive to increase the readiness of the country’s nuclear weapons, citing the financial sanctions being placed on the country by the world and “aggressive statements” by NATO as the cause.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.