Underlining that “escalation of rhetoric or tensions is in no one’s interest” and it is “important that pathways are found for a return to the negotiating table”, India Saturday abstained on a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution, which would have condemned Moscow’s “illegal referenda” and declared its annexation of four Ukrainian territories as invalid. The UNSC resolution was vetoed by Russia.
The UNSC could not adopt the resolution as Russia — a permanent member of the UN Security Council — vetoed it. It was supported by 10 of the 15 members of the Council, while China, Gabon, India, and Brazil abstained.
Addressing the Council after the vote, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, said: “India is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine. We have always advocated that no solution can ever be arrived at the cost of human lives.”
Urging that all efforts are made by “concerned sides for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities”, the Indian envoy said: “Dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment. The path to peace requires us to keep all channels of diplomacy open.”
She said that India’s prime minister has “unequivocally conveyed this in his discussions with world leaders, including with the Presidents of the Russian Federation and Ukraine; so has our External Affairs Minister in his recent engagements at the General Assembly last week”.
“India’s Prime Minister has also emphasized that this cannot be an era of war,” Kamboj said, recalling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public remarks to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Samarkand in Uzbekistan, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit.
“We, therefore, sincerely hope for an early resumption of peace talks to bring about an immediate ceasefire and resolution of the conflict,” she said.
Maintaining that India’s position has been clear and consistent from the very beginning of this conflict, Kamboj said the global order is anchored on the principles of the UN Charter, international law, and respect for sovereignty and the territorial integrity of all states.
“Escalation of rhetoric or tensions is in no one’s interest. It is important that pathways are found for a return to the negotiating table. Keeping in view the totality of the evolving situation, India has decided to abstain on this resolution,” she said, explaining India’s vote.
The 15-nation UN Security Council voted Friday on the draft resolution tabled by the US and Albania on “Illegal So-Called Referenda in Ukraine”, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a lavish ceremony in the Kremlin, signed treaties to annex the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.
Earlier as well, India had abstained on votes at the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly on resolutions pertaining to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has also not publicly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, although it has called for an independent probe into the Bucha massacre.