Russia withdraws from United Nations World Tourism Organization ahead of vote on its suspension

Russia announced on Wednesday that it has decided to withdraw from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation ahead of the scheduled vote on their suspension. It was reported that they will most likely face suspension from the UN body after the vote due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

However, despite the withdrawal, UNWTO made it clear that they will go ahead with the suspension but the complete process of excluding them from the body will take around a year to finish.

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According to a report by Reuters, the suspension was a sure thing with Zurab Pololikashvili, the secretary general of UNWTO, urging the members to vote against Russia. The report said that he wanted the vote to be an example of other organisations on how to handle Russia.

According to the rules of the vote, there were 160 members in total and a two-thirds majority was needed to put the suspension process into effect. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made it clear that the decision by UNWTO will have no impact on the country’s tourism.

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“The tourism sector, especially that for domestic tourism, will continue its development. The external directions for tourism are also open, hinging on questions of competition in terms of quality and price,” he said.

Russia has already been removed from the United Nations Human Rights Council amid reports of the army committing a number of human rights violations in Ukraine. There have been a number of reports emerging from Ukraine and Russia decided to withdraw after the UNHRC vote.