MADRID (Reuters) – The United Nations’ tourism body said on Tuesday it would vote in the coming days to temporarily suspend Russia’s membership in the organisation due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The executive council of the Madrid-based World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) met on Tuesday to make the unprecedented decision to call for a vote on a country’s membership, it said in a statement.
During the meeting, held in Madrid at the request of several members such as Colombia, Lithuania and Poland, most agreed to hold the vote amid concerns and global condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine.
The first-ever extraordinary UNWTO General Assembly will be convened in the coming days.
“If you are a member, then you commit to our rules. And you must embrace our values,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said. “When members go against our goals, there must be consequences.”
Spain is one of the countries that will support the temporary suspension of Russia as a member if Russian President Vladimir Putin does not put an end to the “cruel and unjustified aggression” against Ukraine, Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said at the UNWTO meeting, according to a government statement.
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation.”
(Reporting by Corina Pons; Editing by Catarina Demony and Mark Porter)