Russia accused of trying to blackmail countries in UN vote over Crimea

An anti-Russian activist (right) takes away a Russian flag from a pro-Russian activist during a rally in Tbilisi, Georgia on March 27

Russia threatened several members of the U.N. ahead of the General Assembly’s vote declaring the Crimea referendum invalid, diplomats have said.

Before the vote, Russia allegedly tried to blackmail several smaller Eastern European and Asian countries, including Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as a number of African states.

However, despite the supposed threats of retaliation, the United Nations General Assembly voted in favour of declaring Crimea’s referendum to break away from Ukraine invalid with 100 to 11.

The news of blackmail accusations comes as the leader of Ukraine’s opposition party UDAR (Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform), former boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, announced that will not be running for president.

Klitschko, leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party (UDAR), has instead said he will be supporting Petro Poroshenko, pictured left, for president

Klitschko and will instead throw his support behind billionaire confectionary oligarch Petro Poroshenko and run for mayor of Kiev.

His endorsement will prove a valuable boost for Poroshenko, who played a prominent role in the months-long protest movement that led to the toppling of President Viktor Yanukovych in February.

‘The only way to win is by nominating a single candidate from the democratic ranks,’ Klitschko told a UDAR party congress today.

‘This should be a candidate with the greatest support from the people.’

Klitschko’s withdrawal sets up a May 25 contest between the man known as the ‘Chocolate King’ and former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko…

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