India on Sunday abstains from a procedural vote to convene a rare emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, even as New Delhi asserted that there is no other choice but to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue to settle the Ukraine crisis.
The 15-nation Council met Sunday afternoon to vote on a procedural resolution to refer the Ukrainian situation to an emergency session of the 193-member UN General Assembly.
India, China and the UAE abstained while Russia voted against the resolution and 11 Council members – Albania, Brazil, France, Gabon, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States voted in favour. It was the second time since Friday that India abstained in the Council on a resolution on the Ukraine crisis.
The vote calling for the UNGA session was procedural so none of the five permanent members of the Council – China, France, Russia, UK and the US – could exercise their vetoes. The resolution was adopted, paving the way for the General Assembly to meet on the worsening crisis on Monday morning.
In the explanation of the vote, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said it is regrettable that the situation in Ukraine has worsened further since the Council last convened on this matter on Friday.
He reiterated India’s call for an immediate cessation of violence and an end to all hostilities, underlining that there is no other choice but to return back to the path of diplomacy and dialogue.
Noting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has advocated this strongly in his recent conversations with the Russian and Ukrainian leadership, Tirumurti said, We welcome today’s announcement by both sides to hold talks at the Belarus border.
In his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Modi reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of violence and a return to dialogue and expressed India’s willingness to contribute in any way towards peace efforts.
Tirumurti also said that India continues to be deeply concerned about the safety and security of its nationals, including a large number of Indian students, who are still stranded in Ukraine.
The UN session will be convened today.
(With inputs from agencies)