While Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the neighbourhood too abstained, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan voted in favour of the resolution against Russia. There was some embarrassment for Moscow as it found support only from Eritrea, Belarus, North Korea and Syria in voting against the resolution. That the resolution had widespread support, was evident from the fact that it was co-sponsored by close to 100 countries.
India’s position is in line with what the government has described as its consistent position that allows it to reach out to both sides to find the middle ground and foster dialogue and diplomacy. India had abstained from a similar resolution in the UNSC too, along with China and UAE. It also abstained from a procedural vote for referring the matter to the UNGA.
Explaining India’s vote, Indian ambassador T S Tirumurti demanded a safe and uninterrupted passage for all Indians, including Indian students stranded in the conflict zone, particularly Kharkiv, and said that remained India’s foremost priority. He expressed condolences to the family members of the Indian student who died in Kharkiv and also all civilians who lost their lives, adding that India supported the international community’s call for an immediate ceasefire and safe humanitarian access to conflict zones.
Tirumurti reiterated India’s call for dialogue and diplomacy and expressed hope that the second round of talks between Russia and Ukraine will lead to a positive outcome. In what is seen as a message for Russia, he also reiterated India’s position that the UN Charter, international law and principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected.
“We remain firm in our convictions that differences can only be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unequivocally conveyed this in his discussions with world leaders, including of Russia and Ukraine. He underscored the urgent imperative for humanitarian access and movement of stranded civilians. We sincerely hope the second round of talks between India and Ukraine will lead to a positive outcome,’’ said the ambassador.