India abstains on UN resolution telling Russia to leave Ukraine immediately
However, the motion was backed by 141 nations and passed.
India on Thursday abstained from voting on a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly that called for the unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.
Russia invaded Ukraine exactly a year ago on February 24, 2022, triggering the most deadly conflict in Europe since World War II. Moscow claims it is a special military operation that is necessary to prevent Kyiv from being used as a platform for Western aggression. But Ukraine and its Western allies say it is an imperial-style war of occupation.
Several resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly, Security Council and Human Rights Council have denounced the invasion and have called for respecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity. India has abstained from most such resolutions but has called for resolving the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.
The general assembly on Thursday adopted the resolution after 141 votes were recorded in favour of it. Seven countries voted against the resolution and 32 countries, including India, abstained from the vote.
The resolution demanded “that the Russian Federation immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders” and called for a cessation of hostilities.
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, said it was important for the global community to ask itself some pertinent questions.
“Are we anywhere near a possible solution acceptable to both sides?” she asked while explaining India’s decision to abstain. “Can any process that does not involve either of the two sides, ever lead to a credible and meaningful solution?”
Kamboj further asked: “Has the UN system, and particularly its principal organ, the UN Security Council, based on a 1945-world construct, not been rendered ineffective to address contemporary challenges to global peace and security?”
The diplomat said that India continues to remain concerned about the situation in Ukraine. “The conflict has resulted in the loss of countless lives and misery, particularly for women, children, and the elderly, with millions becoming homeless and forced to seek shelter in neighbouring countries,” the Indian statement read. “Reports of attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure are also deeply worrying.”
The Indian representative said that no solution could be reached at the cost of human lives. “In this context, our prime minister’s statement that this cannot be an era of war bears reiteration,” she said.
Kamboj said that India’s approach to the Ukraine conflict continues to be people-centric and that it is providing humanitarian assistance to the east European country.