The President of the General Assembly John W. Ashe announced this morning that the General Assembly will hold a special meeting on Thursday to discuss the Ukraine crisis. Ashe is the permanent representative from Antigua and Barbuda and serves for the year as President of the General Assembly.

The General Assembly meeting will be the first real measure of the degree of Moscow’s international isolation since its annexation of Crimea. Unlike the Security Council, Russia has no veto at the General Assembly. This meeting will have no legal implications for Russia, but it will likely be a show of profound international solidarity for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The General Assembly is the UN’s most democratic body in the sense that a vote from a small country counts as much as a vote from a powerful one. Most countries in the world are not powerful; and most treat their territorial integrity as sacrosanct. I would imagine that the sentiment expressed by countries on the meeting on Thursday is overwhelmingly supportive of Ukraine and condemnatory of Russia.  Whether this will change Russia’s calculations at all, however, remains to be seen.

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