Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday tweeted he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking “political support”, shortly after Russia praised India’s decision to abstain from a vote at the United Nations to condemn its invasion.
President Zelenskiy said he briefed PM Modi about the course of the Russian assault with more than 1 lakh invaders. Russia’s mission to India tweeted said it was “highly appreciative” of India’s “independent and balanced” position.
Spoke with ???????? Prime Minister @narendramodi. Informed of the course of ???????? repulsing ???????? aggression. More than 100,000 invaders are on our land. They insidiously fire on residential buildings. Urged ???????? to give us political support in???????? Security Council. Stop the aggressor together!
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 26, 2022
Highly appreciate India’s independent and balanced position at the voting in the UNSC on February 25, 2022.
In the spirit of the special and privileged strategic partnership Russia is committed to maintain close dialogue with India on the situation around Ukraine https://t.co/oKtElMLLRf
— Russia in India ???????? (@RusEmbIndia) February 26, 2022
By abstaining from the UN Security Council resolution on the Russian attack on Ukraine, India retained the option of reaching out to all relevant parties to find a middle ground and foster dialogue and diplomacy to defuse the crisis, government sources were quoted as saying by news agency PTI on Saturday.
Though India abstained from voting on the resolution, it called for respecting “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of states and sought immediate cessation of “violence and hostilities”, in comments that the sources said reflected a “sharper tone” and criticism of the Russian offensive.
At the crucial UN Security Council session on Friday, Russia used its veto power to block the US-sponsored resolution deploring in the “strongest terms” Russian “aggression” against Ukraine. Besides India, China and the United Arab Emirates too abstained from voting.
While abstaining from voting on the resolution, India issued an ‘Explanation of Vote’ (EoV) after the vote in which it called for “return to the path of diplomacy” and sought immediate cessation of “violence and hostilities”.
India also told the UN Security Council that it has been in touch with all parties concerned and urged them to return to the negotiating table.
“The contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, international law, and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states,” India said in the EoV said.
“All member states need to honour these principles in finding a constructive way forward. Dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment,” it said.
Noting that it is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine, India urged that all efforts are made for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities.
The sources said India’s call for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and seeking an end to the ongoing “violence” is reflective of its criticism of the Russian action and a subtle change in its overall approach.
In India’s three previous statements at the UN Security Council on the Ukraine crisis, there was no reference to the need for respecting the “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of states.
The sources said India has maintained its “consistent, steadfast and balanced” position on the matter that dialogue is the only answer to settle differences and disputes.
In the 15 member UN Security Council, the resolution received 11 votes in favour of it, Russia opposed it and India, China and the United Arab Emirates abstained from the voting.
The draft resolution demanded Russia to immediately stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all its troops.
Since Russia voted against the resolution (vetoed the resolution), it was not passed.