India on Thursday abstained from voting on a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that called for increasing scrutiny on the “deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from Russian aggression”.

India was among twelve countries that abstained from the vote. Two countries – China and Eritrea – voted against the resolution. The resolution was, however, adopted as 33 countries voted in favour of it.

Indramani Pandey, the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, said that New Delhi was “deeply concerned” about the developments in Ukraine.

“We have constantly called for immediate cessation of violence and an urgent end to hostilities,” he said. “Prime Minister Modi has reiterated this in his interactions with global leaders, including the leaderships of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.”

India continues to believe that dialogue and diplomacy is the only way out, Pandey added.

Since the conflict in Ukraine began on February 24, India has abstained from several resolutions on the matter. However, on April 5, it called for an independent investigation into civilian killings in Ukraine’s Bucha town, and said that the incident was “deeply disturbing”.

‘Exploring options to minimise impact on students’

India on Thursday also told the United Nations Security Council that it was exploring options to minimise the impact of the conflict in eastern Europe on Indian students in Ukraine.

R Ravindra, the country’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, made the statement during a briefing at the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

Ravindra said that New Delhi facilitated the return of 22,500 Indian citizens, most of them students, from the war-torn country. “We appreciate the relaxations by the Ukrainian Government for this academic year in respect of medical students,” he said.

India also reiterated its support for guarantees of safe passage to deliver essential humanitarian and medical supplies, including “through the establishment of humanitarian corridors”.