EXPLAINED: Why India Abstained From UNGA Voting Against Russia

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By: Ayanangsha Maitra
Updated: 03 March, 2022 4:15 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The 193-member United Nations General Assembly went to a poll on Wednesday, demanding Russia to immediately stop its military operation in Ukraine. India and 34 other states abstained from voting. Five states however voted in favour of Russia. The vote also saw a sharp division among the neighbours of India to vote. Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and China also abstained from voting, whereas Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives and Myanmar voted against Russia.

The assembly held this election after Russia exercised its Veto in the earlier resolution brought by the United Nations Security Council.

Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, has addressed an explanatory letter to Abdulla Shahid, President of United Nations General Assembly.

“Ensuring the well-being and safety of our citizens is the basic duty of every Government. We have therefore instituted special flights to bring Indians home from conflict zones. My Government has deployed senior Ministers as Special Envoys to countries neighbouring Ukraine to facilitate evacuation. We thank all neighbouring countries of Ukraine for opening their borders and extending all facilities to our Embassies at this time,” reads the letter issued by the Permanent Representative of India.

“We remain firm in our conviction that differences can only be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy. Prime Minister Modi has unequivocally conveyed this in his discussions with world leaders, including of the Russian Federation and Ukraine. He underscored the urgent imperative for humanitarian access and movement of stranded civilians. We therefore sincerely hope that the second round of talks between the Russian Federation and Ukraine will lead to a positive outcome,” Ambassador Tirumurti said.

Speaking to The New Indian, the Ministry of External Affairs clarified that Russian intelligence helped Indian missions to evacuate stranded Indians. In a telephone call, Prime Minister Modi appealed to President Putin of Russia to arrange the safe evacuation of the stranded Indian nationals from the conflict areas in Ukraine. Calling an end to military operations in Ukraine, Prime Minister Modi has been consistently emphasising dialogues and diplomatic solutions to the Ukraine crisis.

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