The Unites States says it was one of three countries to vote against a United Nations rights resolution that denounces the glorification of Nazism and other racially-charged trends around the world.
Ukraine and the Micronesian archipelago of Palau were the other two countries that voted against the Russian-drafted resolution on Thursday.
Washington said it decision was based on freedom of speech issues and concerns that Moscow was using it to “carry out political attacks against its neighbors.”
The resolution was passed by the UN human rights committee on Friday with 131 votes in favor, 3 against and 48 abstentions.
The American representative defended the US vote, claiming the resolution limits freedom of expression and association, and the right to peaceful assembly.
“We condemn without reservation all forms of religious and ethnic intolerance or hatred at home and around the world,” said Deputy US Representative to the Economic and Social Council Stefanie Amadeo, explaining the US vote.
“However, due to this resolution’s overly narrow scope and politicized nature, and because it calls for unacceptable limits on the fundamental freedom of expression, the United States cannot support it,” Amadeo said.
Unlike resolutions in the Security Council, resolutions in General Assembly committees are not considered legally binding.
Relations between Washington and Moscow are at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War in 1991, largely due to the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.
On Monday, US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone conversation, discussing the importance of “normalizing” ties between Moscow and Washington.
According to a statement released by the Kremlin on Monday, both Putin and Trump had acknowledged “the extremely unsatisfactory state of Russian-US relations at present” and “declared the need for active joint work to normalize them.”