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India abstains on UNSC resolution that ‘deplores’ Russian aggression against Ukraine

India's Permanent Representative at the UN said, “Dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment."

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: February 26, 2022 11:32:32 am
India’s Permanent Representative at the UN T S Tirumurti. (Photo: Twitter/@ambtstirumurti)

India on Saturday abstained on a US-sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution that “deplores in the strongest terms” Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine, with New Delhi saying dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes and voicing “regret” that the path of diplomacy was given up.

While Russia — which chaired the meeting of the UNSC since it holds the presidency for the month of February — vetoed the resolution, China too abstained along with United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The remaining 11 members of the UNSC, including the US, UK and France, voted in favour of the resolution, which did not pass since Russia vetoed it.

Explaining its vote, India’s Permanent Representative at the UN, T S Tirumurti said, “India is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine.”

“We urge that all efforts are made for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities,” he said. This was conveyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well, during a phone call on Thursday.

“No solution can ever be arrived at the cost of human lives,” Tirumurti said.

“We are also deeply concerned about the welfare and security of the Indian community, including a large number of Indian students, in Ukraine,” he added, underlining India’s concern.

UNSC resolution on Russian invasion of Ukraine |How countries voted

“The contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, international law, and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states,” he said.

“All member states need to honour these principles in finding a constructive way forward,” Tirumurti said.

“Dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment,” he said.

“It is a matter of regret that the path of diplomacy was given up. We must return to it. For all these reasons, India has chosen to abstain on this Resolution,” he said.

Sources said India maintained its “consistent, steadfast and balanced position on the matter”.

“India has been in touch with all sides, urging parties concerned to return to the negotiating table. By abstaining, India retained the option of reaching out to relevant sides in an effort to bridge the gap and find the middle ground with an aim to foster dialogue and diplomacy,” a source said.

An earlier draft of the resolution had proposed moving the resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which provides the framework within which the Security Council may take enforcement action, sources said. However, this was dropped in the final version that was put to vote.

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