Even though the decision to hold talks between Moscow and Kyiv at the Belarus border was welcomed by New Delhi, India has still abstained from a procedural vote in the United Nations Security Council to call for a rare special emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly on the aggression shown by Russia against Ukraine since the last few days.
The resolution in the UNSC was adopted with 11 countries favouring it and paving the way for the General Assembly to meet on the crisis on Monday. Three nations that refrained from voting were India, China, and UAE. This is the 11th emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly since 1950. The 15-nation Security Council of the UN met on Sunday to hold the vote on the emergency special session of the General Assembly consisting of 193 members on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This has come two days after the Russian veto had blocked the UNSC resolution on its aggression against Ukraine. The vote that called for the emergency of the UNGA session was procedural so none of the permanent members- China, Russia, France, the United States, the United Kingdom could have exercised their veto.
In his explanation, T S Tirumurti, the permanent representative to the United Nations Ambassador said that it was regrettable such a situation had occurred and the conflict in Ukraine had worsened since the last meeting of the council was convened on this matter. He also said that there was no other choice but to return to dialogue and diplomacy. He added that the announcement to hold talks at the Belarusian borders by both nations was welcomed.
Tirumurti mentioned that the main concern of India was the security and safety of the Indian Nations including a large number of Indian students who were still stranded in Ukraine amid the conflict. He said that the evacuation efforts of the country had been impacted adversely by the complex and uncertain situation at the border crossing of the nation. It was important to maintain an uninterrupted and predictable flow of people. He further said that it was an urgent humanitarian necessity that should be addressed immediately.
In his statement, he said that after taking the totality of these circumstances into consideration, India had decided to abstain from voting. Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the General Assembly was supposed to attend the 49th regular session of the human rights council in Geneva has cancelled his trip citing the ongoing situation in Ukraine and potential developments in the UNSC for the vote.
Abdulla also met with the Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador of Ukraine, Sergiy Kyslytsya on Saturday and was briefed on the security situation in Kyiv. The Secretary-General of the UN has also cancelled his trip to Geneva taking into account the aggravating situation in Ukraine.
Tirumurti in his explanation mentioned that India was deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine and also urged that all efforts should be aimed towards the immediate cessation of hostilities and violence.