India on Wednesday abstained from voting on a resolution in the United Nations Security Council to demand an end to violence in Myanmar and urge the country’s military rulers to release all political prisoners, including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Southeast Asian country has been in turmoil since the military toppled Suu Kyi’s elected government in February 2021. Over 2,500 have been killed in the military’s crackdown on dissent, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group that has been monitoring the unrest.

On Wednesday, the 15-member Security Council, under India’s presidency this month, adopted its first-ever resolution on Myanmar in 74 years. Twelve members voted in favour, while China and Russia abstained from the vote along with India.

The only other resolution on Myanmar was adopted by the Security Council in 1948, when the body recommended that the United Nations General Assembly admit the country, formerly known as Burma, as a member.

On Wednesday, Ruchira Kamboj, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said New Delhi believes that the complex situation in Myanmar calls for an approach of “quiet and patient diplomacy”, PTI reported.

“Under the current circumstances, we are of the considered view that a UN Security Council resolution may entrench the parties in their inflexible positions rather than encourage them to pursue an inclusive political dialogue,” she added.

The diplomat, however, said Myanmar’s military should immediately start an inclusive political dialogue for the restoration of democracy. “Political leaders should be released and allowed to resume political activities,” she said.

India said that the consequences of instability will affect the neighbouring countries the most, stressing that it is important for Myanmar to consider their views and perspectives. India shares a nearly 1,700 kilometres-long border with Myanmar.

“Resolving the current crisis and maintenance of peace, stability and prosperity in Myanmar is therefore of direct interest to our national security,” Kamboj said.

Meanwhile, China’s UN ambassador Zhang Jun said after abstaining on the vote that Beijing has concerns about the draft resolution. Wednesday’s resolution urges “all parties to respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law”.

But Zhang said that “there is no quick fix to the issue” and it would be more appropriate for the Security Council to adopt a formal statement on Myanmar.

Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said that Moscow does not think the situation in Myanmar is a threat to international peace and security. “In this regard, promotion of anti-Myanmar initiatives in the Security Council is both inappropriate and counter-productive,” he said.