New Delhi, October 1
India has abstained on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Moscow’s annexation of parts of Ukraine. The resolution, “Illegal So-Called Referenda in Ukraine” was vetoed by Russia. Of the other 14 votes, there were 10 votes in favour with four abstentions, including India, China, Brazil and Gabon.
Surprisingly, the US did not see anything amiss in the four countries abstaining. “Their abstentions clearly were not a defence of Russia. They were not in support of Russia and they made clear their condemnation of Russia,” said US Permanent Representative (PR) Linda Thomas-Greenfield after the vote.
“India is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine. We have always advocated that no solution can ever be reached at the cost of human lives. India’s PM has also emphasised that this cannot be an era of war,” said India’s PR to the UN Ruchika Kamboj in her explanation.
PM Modi’s “this cannot be an era of war” comment and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s observation that India was on “the side that respects the UN Charter and its founding principles” was welcomed by the West which saw it as a shift from India’s presumed neutrality. At the same time, India has kept on track its ties with Russia in civil nuclear power, defence, oil, coal and investments in the Far East and the Arctic. Kamboj said in his conversations with world leaders PM Modi had consistently maintained that dialogue was the only answer to settling differences and disputes, “however daunting that may appear at this moment.” This was at least the ninth time India abstained on a substantive resolution on Ukraine at the UN.
Kamboj said, “India’s position has been clear and consistent from the very beginning of this conflict: 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.”
Hours earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin shrugged off the unprecedented sabotage of two Russian undersea oil pipelines to preside over the annexation of seized territories.
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