The U.N. General Assembly on Friday approved a plan to play a video message by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in next week's general debate as an exception to the in-person participation format.

The plan proposed by Ukraine and others in the 193-member body was approved with 101 votes in favor. Russia was among seven members that opposed the move, while 19, including China, abstained.

Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukrainian ambassador to the United Nations, told Friday's session that the request was aimed at "creating conditions to avail of the right" of Zelenskyy to address the general debate "in the most extraordinary circumstances, the ongoing Russian aggression."

Dmitry Polyanskiy, first deputy permanent representative of the Russian mission to the world body, criticized Ukraine, saying all delegations to the general debate should attend in person.

Zelenskyy had intended to deliver a speech during the general debate session at U.N. headquarters in New York on Wednesday, according to a list of speakers released earlier this month.

But Ukraine then asked the General Assembly to approve the use of a pre-recorded message by the leader of the war-torn country.

The United Nations requires, in principle, that member delegations attend the general debate, which starts Tuesday in person this year for the first time since 2019, following the adoption of virtual or hybrid formats due to the coronavirus pandemic.