Russia-Ukraine war: India abstains its way out of diplomatic crossfire at UN | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: India yet again abstained its way out of a diplomatic crossfire at the UN on Ukraine with 3 successive abstentions in UN Security Council and General Assembly in the past 2 days. While it joined China, Pakistan and 35 others in abstaining from a resolution in UNGA on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine that laid the blame for it squarely on Russia, India was among the 13 in UNSC who abstained to defeat a Russian resolution on the same issue that apparently papered over Russia’s role in starting the crisis.
The UNGA resolution, originally drafted by France and Mexico and moved by Ukraine, was adopted with overwhelming support as 140 countries voted in favour. Only 5 voted against the resolution. An earlier UNGA resolution deploring Russia’s actions had been adopted with support from 141 countries. India was among the 35 who had abstained then.
India also abstained Thursday from a procedural vote in the UNGA for action on a South African resolution that was seen as soft on Moscow by US and others for not naming Russia. While there was no explanation of vote by India in the Security Council, in the UNGA India’s ambassador T S Tirumurti said India had decided to abstain since the draft resolution did not fully reflect India’s expected focus on challenges like the need for cessation of hostilities and urgent humanitarian assistance. He reiterated India’s call for immediate ceasefire while expressing deep concern over civilian deaths and 10 million displaced people.
While China abstained in UNGA, it was the only country to vote in favour of the Russian resolution in the Council along with Russia. India’s abstention in the Security Council was to the liking of the West with the US hailing support from the 13 countries as a unified protest vote against Russia. Moscow was reported to have sought support from India last week for the co-sponsorship of its resolution but India apparently didn’t agree.
Its vote in the Assembly though will again be seen as a cause of concern for countries like the US, France and UK that have urged India to review its position on Ukraine. India, however, believes that the issue of humanitarian assistance should not be politicised and the government doesn’t want to be seen as taking any extreme position in the conflict. Its ability and initiative to reach out to the leaders of both Russia and Ukraine was listed by foreign minister S Jaishankar in Parliament Thursday as one of the principles on which India’s Ukraine policy was based.
Even before the UNSC vote on Wednesday, India had abstained from voting on all resolutions and procedural votes across various UN bodies suggesting a tilt towards Russia. However, in remarks aimed at Moscow, it has also repeatedly called for all to respect the UN Charter, international law and sovereignty and territorial integrity. Tirumurti reiterated the same in his explanation of vote in the UNGA.
“We firmly believe efforts at the UN should contribute to de-escalation of the conflict, facilitate immediate cessation of hostilities to promote dialogue and diplomacy and bring parties together to find an immediate end to the sufferings of the people,” said Tirumurti, adding children and women were disproportionately affected by the prolonging of the conflict.

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