| 29 February 2024, Thursday |

Madagascar minister fired for voting against Russia’s Ukraine annexation

Madagascar’s president fired his foreign affairs minister for voting at the United Nations to denounce Russian-organized referendums to annex four partially-occupied regions of Ukraine, according to two sources in the president’s office.

Last Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously condemned Russia’s “attempted illegal annexation” of four Ukrainian regions and urged all countries not to recognize the move.

Of the 193-member General Assembly, 143 countries voted in support of a resolution that also reaffirmed the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

Two senior officials at President Andriy Rajoelina’s office told Reuters minister Richard Randriamandrato was sacked for being one of those who voted in support.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year has put many African countries in an awkward diplomatic position. Many have a complicated history of relations with the West and the former Soviet Union as well as important economic ties to Russia.


They have largely avoided taking sides over the war, frustrating some Western nations.

Until last week, Madagascar always abstained during the various votes on resolutions related to the crisis in Ukraine. The government spoke of neutrality and non-alignment on the subject.

Randriamandrato declined to comment.

Eighteen of the 35 countries to abstain on last week’s vote were African. Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Syria and Nicaragua voted against the resolution.

  • Reuters