India Abstains From UNSC Vote Condemning ‘Illegal Referenda’ In Ukraine, Calls For Negotiations

New Delhi: India abstained on a draft resolution tabled in the United Nations Security Council that condemned Russia’s “illegal referenda” and annexation of four Ukrainian territories. New Delhi also called for an immediate cessation of violence while stressing the need for a return to the negotiating table.

The 15-nation UN Security Council on Friday voted on the draft resolution tabled by the US and Albania condemning Russia’s “organisation of illegal so-called referenda in regions within Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders.”

According to news agency PTI, the resolution stated that Russia’s “unlawful actions” pertaining to “illegal so-called referenda” taken on September 23 to 27 this year in parts of Ukraine’s regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya that are under Russia’s temporary control can have “no validity”. It cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of these regions of Ukraine, including any “purported annexation” of any of these regions by Moscow, it mentioned.

Of the 15-nation Council, 10 nations voted for the resolution while China, Gabon, India, and Brazil abstained. The resolution failed to get adopted with Russia vetoing it as seen in previous instances pertaining to the Ukraine conflict.

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Escalation Of Rhetoric Or Tension Is In No One’s Interest: India At UNSC

At the UNSC, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ruchira Kamboj said that India was deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine and New Delhi has always maintained that no solution can ever arrive at the cost of human lives.

“We urge that all efforts are made by concerned sides for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities. Dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment,” she said, as quoted by PTI.

“The path to peace requires us to keep all channels of diplomacy open,”  the ambassador said, emphasising that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “unequivocally conveyed” the same in his discussions with world leaders, including with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

She also mentioned statements made by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Ukraine during the high-level General Assembly session last week.

Referring to Modi’s recent remark to Putin on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand that “today’s era is not an era of war”, Kamboj said that New Delhi sincerely hopes for an early resumption of peace talks to bring about an immediate ceasefire and resolution of the conflict.

“India’s position has been clear and consistent from the very beginning of this conflict. The global order is anchored on the principles of the UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and the territorial integrity of all states. Escalation of rhetoric or tension is in no one’s interest,” she stated.

“It is important that pathways are found for a return to the negotiating table. Keeping in view the totality of the evolving situation, India decided to abstain on the resolution,” Kamboj added.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Terms Annexation As A ‘Dangerous Escalation’

Russian President Putin on Friday proclaimed the annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.

The announcement came a day after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that “any annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the Principles of the UN Charter and international law.” “Any decision to proceed with the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine would have no legal value and deserves to be condemned,” Guterres said.

“It cannot be reconciled with the international legal framework. It stands against everything the international community is meant to stand for. It flouts the purposes and principles of the United Nations. It is a dangerous escalation. It has no place in the modern world. It must not be accepted,” the UN chief stressed.

The resolution tabled by the US and Albania also called upon all States, international organisations, and specialised agencies not to recognise any alteration of the status of Ukraine’s regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, or Zaporizhzhya on the basis of Russia’s “unlawful actions” with regards to the illegal so-called referenda taken on September 23 to 27, and to refrain from any action or dealing that might be interpreted as recognising any such altered status.

It also asked for Russia to“immediately, completely and unconditionally” withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders, which includes those regions addressed by the “illegal so-called referenda” to enable a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine through political dialogue, negotiation, mediation or other peaceful means.

(With Agency Inputs)