Russia expects India’s support on UNSC resolution on Ukraine: Russian DCM
NEW DELHI: Russia expects India to support it at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) when a resolution opposing the military Russian operation against Ukraine comes up for a vote on Friday evening (IST), Russian chargé d’affaires Roman Babushkin said today.
The draft resolution, sponsored by the United States and its allies, will call out Russia over its actions but is not expected to pass as Russia, which is also the current president of the 15-member Security Council, has a veto. Diplomats have told Reuters that at least 11 members are expected to vote in favour.
“We expect our Indian partners to support Russia,” Babushkin, currently the senior-most Russian diplomat in New Delhi, said about the resolution.
The draft resolution will condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration of a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 23, and express “grave concern at reports of civilian casualties”. It would also determine that the “situation in Ukraine constitutes a breach of international peace and security”, and condemn Russia’s “aggression against Ukraine”.
The resolution will further reaffirm the Security Council’s commitment “to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders” and call on Russia to “immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw” all its military forces from Ukraine.
Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla told a media briefing late on Thursday that India would decide its position after seeing the “shape that this resolution takes”. He said India had seen a draft, but added that this was expected to undergo considerable changes.
India has so far refrained from criticising Russia’s actions in Ukraine in any of its three statements at the UNSC meetings on the issue, and has called for a solution that ensures the “legitimate security interests of all parties”. These moves have been seen as part of efforts by India to balance its ties with Russia and the US.
India is also facing pressure from the West, especially its European partners, to take a stand on the situation in Ukraine, and it is understood this issue figured when Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar spoke with his counterparts from the European Union and the United Kingdom on Thursday.
Babushkin said Putin had briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the situation in Ukraine during their telephonic conversation on Thursday night.
“We are confident that our Indian partners have a deep understanding of the situation with its historical background. We are also confident they understand the decision of the Russian leadership,” he said.
The Russian diplomat expressed confidence that cooperation and projects between India and Russia, in areas ranging from energy to defence, would not be affected by sanctions announced by the US, the UK, Australia and several other countries.
“Russia and India don’t recognise such unilateral sanctions that are illegal and confront the UN Charter and international law. These are a major tool of the West to pressure other countries and to establish a unipolar world order... This did not happen just yesterday. Russia has been under sanctions for long years. The Russian system is strong enough to withstand such sanctions. It won’t affect our cooperation, including in defence, which is in the national interest of both countries... We have learnt to use other routes for our projects,” Babushkin added.
The Indian government will bear the flight costs to evacuate its citizens stranded in Ukraine, and since the Ukrainian airspace is closed, these flights will take off from neighbouring countries, people familiar with developments said.