‘India retained option of reaching out to all sides by abstaining from UN vote on Ukraine’
New Delhi: By abstaining from a UN Security Council resolution on the Russian attack on Ukraine, India retained the option of reaching out to all relevant parties to find a middle ground and foster dialogue and diplomacy to defuse the crisis, official sources said on Saturday.
Though India abstained from voting on the resolution, it called for respecting “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of states and sought immediate cessation of “violence and hostilities”, in comments that the sources said reflected a “sharper tone” and criticism of the Russian offensive.
At the crucial UN Security Council session on Friday, Russia used its veto power to block the US-sponsored resolution deploring in the “strongest terms” Russian “aggression” against Ukraine.
While abstaining from voting on the resolution, India issued an ‘Explanation of Vote’ after the vote in which it called for “return to the path of diplomacy” and sought immediate cessation of “violence and hostilities”.
India also told the UN Security Council that it has been in touch with all concerned parties and urged them to return to the negotiating table.
The sources said India’s call for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and seeking an end to the ongoing “violence” is reflective of its criticism of the Russian action and a subtle change in its overall approach.
They said India has been deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine and maintained its “consistent, steadfast and balanced” position on the matter that dialogue is the only answer to settle differences and disputes.
T S Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said dialogue is the only answer to settle differences and disputes and that no solution can ever arrive at cost of human lives.
In the 15-member UN Security Council, the resolution received 11 votes in favour of it. Russia opposed it and India, China and the United Arab Emirates abstained from the voting.
India also conveyed that the welfare and security of the Indian community, in particular stranded students and their evacuation from Ukraine, has been its immediate priority.
The sources said India called on all member states to honour principles of international law and the United Nations Charter as these provide a constructive way forward.
They said India regretted that the path of diplomacy has been given up in resolving the crisis and insisted that it must return.
“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,” said a source.
“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. However, this was dropped in the final version that was put to vote,” it said.
The sources said India called for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and pitched for an immediate cessation of violence and hostilities as was conveyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In the midst of the escalating situation in Ukraine, Modi held a telephonic conversation with Putin on Thursday during which he appealed for ending violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic dialogue.
The sources said India has been in touch with all concerned parties and urged them to return to the negotiating table.
In India’s three previous statements at the UN Security Council on the Ukraine crisis, there was a reference on the need for taking into account the “legitimate security interests” of all concerned countries.
However, it is learnt that there was no such reference during Friday’s session.
The draft resolution demanded Russia to immediately stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all its troops.
Since Russia voted against the resolution (vetoed the resolution), it was not passed.
Ukraine president Zelenskyy speaks with Modi, seeks India’s support at UNSC
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought India’s political support at the UN Security Council to stop Russia’s military offensive against his country.
Zelenskyy also informed Prime Minister Modi of the course of Ukraine repulsing the Russian aggression.
“Spoke with Indian Prime Minister @narendramodi. Informed of the course of Ukraine repulsing Russian aggression,” Zelenskuyy said in a tweet.
“More than 100,000 invaders are on our land. They insidiously fire on residential buildings. Urged India to give us political support in UN Security Council. Stop the aggressor together!” he said.
India abstained on a UN Security Council resolution by the US that “deplores in the strongest terms” Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine, as New Delhi called for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities and asserted that dialogue is the “only answer” to settling disputes.