India abstains on UNSC resolution over Russia’s annexation of 4 Ukraine regions

ByRezaul H LaskarRezaul H Laskar
Oct 02, 2022 01:16 AM IST

India’s permanent representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj said that India is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine.

India abstained on a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution condemning Russia’s annexation of four regions of Ukraine, calling once again for the immediate cessation of violence and holding up dialogue as the only way to end disputes.

Ruchira Kamboj recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that this cannot be an era of war. (ANI File Photo)
Ruchira Kamboj recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that this cannot be an era of war. (ANI File Photo)

Russia on Friday vetoed the draft resolution that described its attempts to “unlawfully annex” the four regions of Ukraine as a “threat to international peace and security” and demanded the decision be immediately and unconditionally reversed.

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A defiant President Vladimir Putin announced Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia at a ceremony in Moscow on Friday. The proclamation of Russian rule over 15% of Ukraine amounted to the largest annexation in Europe since World War 2.

Also read: ‘The plunder of India’: Putin slams West as Russia annexes Ukraine's 4 regions

While explaining New Delhi’s vote at the UN Security Council on the draft resolution titled “Illegal So-Called Referenda in Ukraine”, Ruchira Kamboj, the permanent representative to the UN, 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.”

Kamboj recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that this cannot be an era of war, and said, “We urge that all efforts are made by concerned sides for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities.”

“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.

“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,” Kamboj added.

Modi told Putin during a meeting on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Uzbekistan on September 16 that “today’s era is not of war”. He nudged Putin to end the war in Ukraine and to consider the problem of food and energy security being faced by developing countries.

India has so far refrained from publicly criticising Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and not voted against Russia at UN bodies, and the abstention was in line with this position. India has, however, consistently called for an end to the fighting and for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states.

Kamboj said India’s call for an end to hostilities and a return to dialogue has been “unequivocally conveyed” by the Prime Minister in his discussions with world leaders, including the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine. External affairs minister S Jaishankar has conveyed a similar message in recent engagements at the UN General Assembly, she said.

“India’s Prime Minister has also emphasised that this cannot be an era of war. We, therefore, sincerely hope for an early resumption of peace talks to bring about an immediate ceasefire and resolution of the conflict,” she added.

India’s position has been clear and consistent from the beginning of the conflict and 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”, Kamboj said.

Also read: 'Naked aggression': France envoy slams Russia for Ukraine war, lauds PM Modi

The draft resolution, circulated by the US and Albania, was supported by 10 of the 15 members of the Security Council, while Brazil, China and Gabon joined India in abstaining.

The resolution called on all states, international organisations and agencies not to recognise the Russian annexation. It also called on Russia to “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces” from Ukrainian territory.

Due to Russia’s veto, following a new procedure adopted in the UN General Assembly in April, the assembly must meet automatically within 10 days for the 193-member body to scrutinise and comment on the vote. Any use of the veto by any of the Security Council’s five permanent members triggers such a meeting.

On Thursday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the annexation plan as a violation of international law, warning that it marked a “dangerous escalation” in the seven-month war that began on February 24.

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