India, along with China and the United Arab Emirates, has abstained on a Security Council resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The resolution proposed by the US and Albania with the backing of nearly 60 countries received 11 votes in favour, giving it a majority in the 15-member Council, but was nullified by the Russian veto on Friday evening.
The resolution sought to declare that Russia has committed acts of aggression against Ukraine.and the situation is a breach of international peace and security.
It would also have demanded that Russia immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine and completely withdraw its military forces from within Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders.
Explaining the abstention, India’s Permanent Representative, T.S. Tirumurti said, “It is a matter of regret that the path of diplomacy was given up. We must return to it.”
“Dialogue is the only answer to the settling of differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment,” he added.
Without naming Russia, Tirumurti, however, said, “India is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine.”
But taking a neutral stance, he added, “We urge that all efforts are made for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities.”
India’s abstention followed a call from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.
But US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken called India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar to press the case for voting for the resolution.
India’s abstention is a bump in the road to closer relations with the US and the West.
US Permanent Representative, Linda Thomas Greenfield made the voting on the resolution a litmus test for how countries stand with the US.
“There is no middle ground,” she said before the vote.
And after the vote, she added, “This vote showed which countries truly believe in supporting the core principles of the UN and which ones deployed them as convenient catchphrases. This vote showed which Security Council members support the UN Charter and which ones do not.”
(Arul Louis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)