Barring a couple of procedural votes, which saw India going against Moscow to allow Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to address the UN virtually, India’s “consistent” position on Ukraine has seen it abstaining from voting on all UN resolutions condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine, as also other Ukraine-related issues. India has in all abstained over a dozen times in what many see as a tilt towards Moscow, but it has also maintained, and reminded Russia, all along that the global order is based on the UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states.
This was reiterated in India’s explanation of vote by Indian ambassador Ruchira Kamboj who also recalled PM Narendra Modi’s call for an immediate end to hostilities and return to dialogue and diplomacy. While the West lauded Modi’s recent remark to President Vladimir Putin that this wasn’t the era of war, Russian ambassador to India Denis Alipov had insisted there was no change in India’s position and that the Western leaders had cherry-picked Modi’s remarks that suited their own interests.
Significantly, India’s Brics partner Brazil, which had earlier voted to condemn Russia’s actions, also abstained. The resolution, which condemned the referendums calling upon States to not recognise the altered status of Ukrainian territory, was vetoed by Russia. It will be taken up though by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) within the next 10 days as specified by a resolution adopted earlier to allow all UN member-states to scrutinise publicly any use of veto power.
In her remarks after the voting, Kamboj warned against escalation of rhetoric or tensions saying this would be 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,” she said.
India didn’t make any direct reference to the referendums but Kamboj said India was deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine.
“India’s Prime Minister has also emphasized 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,” said Kamboj, as she urged the concerned sides to make all efforts for immediate cessation of violence and hostilities.
The government again underlined that 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. 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,” she said.