Russia opposes Taiwan referendum on UN
Russia is "concerned" about a plan by Taiwan to organise a referendum on joining the United Nations, its foreign ministry said Monday, warning such a move risked destabilising the region.
"We are concerned that such a referendum, and in particular the interpretation of its results, would risk seriously destabilising the situation in the region," the ministry said in a statement.
"We believe Taiwan is an integral part of China ... Being a strategic partner of China, Russia states its opposition to Taiwan`s adherence to international organisations. Only sovereign states can be members of these."
It added: "We believe that the referendum proposed by the Taiwanese authorities is a dangerous political game ... Activities intended to increase Taiwan`s sovereignty are absolutely unacceptable for Russia."
Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian intends to hold a referendum on UN membership next year, but France, Britain and the United States have already expressed their opposition to the plan.
The countries along with Russia and China make up the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and all have veto-wielding powers on resolutions.
Taiwan, under its official name the Republic of China, lost its UN seat to China in 1971 and Beijing has repeatedly blocked its efforts to join since.
The two sides split at the end of a civil war in 1949, and China regards the island as part of its own territory awaiting reunification.