India on Thursday abstained from voting on a resolution moved by Ukraine in the United Nations General Assembly, calling for an called for an “immediate cessation” of hostilities by Russia, PTI reported.
However, the resolution was adopted as 140 countries voted in its favour, 38 abstained and five voted against it. The resolution moved by Ukraine had originally been prepared by France and Mexico, according to AFP.
TS Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said that the country decided to abstain as what was required in the resolution was a “focus on the cessation of hostilities and on urgent humanitarian assistance to Ukraine”.
“The draft resolution did not fully reflect our expected focus on these challenges,” Tirumurti said.
The resolution had called upon Moscow to “immediately, completely and unconditionally” withdraw all of its military forces from Ukrainian territories.
The resolution said that civilians, including humanitarian personnel, journalists and persons in vulnerable situations, including women and children, should be fully protected in the areas affected by the war. It also called for an “unhindered passage” for those fleeing the conflict areas, including foreign nationals.
This is the sixth instance when India abstained from voting on a resolution on the Ukraine crisis in the United Nations.
On Wednesday, India had abstained from voting from a United Nations Security Council resolution introduced by Russia on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
The resolution had called for the protection of civilians, a negotiated ceasefire for enabling their evacuation, and had emphasised the “need for the parties concerned to agree on humanitarian pauses to this end”.
Notably, the document made no reference to Russia’s own role in the ongoing crisis.
Previously, India had abstained from voting on resolutions at the Security Council on the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 26 and February 28 and once each in the United Nations General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council.