India on Wednesday once again abstained from a vote in the United Nations General Assembly that not only condemned the Russian annexation of four Ukrainian territories but also called upon countries not to recognize this attempt by Moscow to unilaterally redraw the map of Ukraine.
The resolution – which had earlier been rejected in the United Nations Security Council as Russia exercised its veto power as a permanent member – sailed through the General Assembly with 143 countries voting in favour of it. Five countries voted against it and 35 including India, China and Pakistan abstained.
Iterating India’s stated position on the conflict, the Indian Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Ruchira Kamboj, expressed disappointment that other pressing issues at play were not adequately addressed in the resolution but did not spell them out.
"There are other pressing issues at play, some of which have not been adequately addressed in the Resolution voted today. Our decision to abstain is consistent with our well thought out national position,’’ Kamboj underscored while picking up cudgels for the global south which has borne the brunt of the shortages in fuel, food and fertilizers as a result of the conflict.
"It is also unfortunate that as the trajectory of the Ukrainian conflict unfolds, the entire global south has suffered a substantial collateral damage. As developing countries face the brunt of the conflict’s consequences on fuel, food and fertilizer supplies, it is critical that the voice of global south be heard and their legitimate concerns duly addressed. We must therefore not initiate measures that further complicate a struggling global economy,’’ she said.
This notwithstanding, the bulk of the global south voted with the Western countries for the resolution.
Calling for the resumption of peace talks to bring about an immediate ceasefire and resolution of the conflict, India said it stands with every effort aimed at de-escalation. ``The global order that we all subscribe to, is based on international law, the UN Charter and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all States. These principles must be upheld, without exception.’’ This has been India’s formulation from the beginning of the conflict, indicating New Delhi’s unstated view that Moscow’s concerns regarding NATO’s encirclement of Russian territory should also be factored in.
Apart from the geo-political reasons that prevent India from taking a stand against Russia, India has always been an advocate of the middle-path in such situations; being of the opinion that channels for diplomacy to work need to be kept open.
At the fag end of the explanation of vote, Kamboj also sought to put down Pakistan for ``mis-using’’ the discussion on Ukraine to bring up the Kashmir issue in an attempt to draw parallels.
The resolution calls on all States, the UN and international organisations not to recognize any of Russia’s annexation claims regarding Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia, and demands the immediate reversal of its annexation declaration.