India on Sunday abstained from voting on United Nations Security Council resolution on holding a special emergency session of the body’s General Assembly to discuss Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
During the vote, India’s ambassador to the United Nations, TS Tirumurti, reiterated New Delhi’s stand that dialogue was the only way to resolve the dispute and welcomed the announcement by Ukraine and Russia to hold peace talks at the Belarus border.
Apart from India, China and the United Arab Emirates abstained from voting on the resolution proposed by the 15-member Security Council. Russia voted against the resolution.
However, the resolution was adopted with 11 votes in favour, allowing the General Assembly to meet on February 28. This will be the 11th such session of the General Assembly since 1950, and the first such session since 1982.
During Sunday’s vote, Tirumurti said that India is deeply concerned about the safety and security of Indian nationals, including students, who are still stranded in Ukraine.
“Our evacuation efforts have been adversely impacted by the complex and uncertain situation at the border crossings,” he said. “[...]Taking into consideration the totality of the circumstances, we have decided to abstain”.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, said the Security Council had taken an important step towards holding Russia accountable for its aggression against Ukraine.
“By calling for an emergency special session of the General Assembly... [we] have recognized that this is no ordinary moment,” Linda said, according to the United Nations. “We need to take extraordinary steps to confront this threat to our international system.”
The move by the United Nations comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his military to put his country’s nuclear arms forces on high alert amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Putin had cited the “aggressive” statement by The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, and economic sanctions levied against Moscow as the reason behind his move.
On Friday, the United Nations Security Council had voted for a resolution that deplored Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine. India had abstained from voting against the resolution.