Why India Abstained from the UN Vote on Ukraine?

58 points
Why India Abstained from the UN Vote on Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is about to enter its second week, yet there’s no sign of a ceasefire. The conflict began on February 24, focusing on the status of Crimea and parts of Donbas, recognized internationally as part of Ukraine.

The violence has only intensified in major Ukrainian cities since last Thursday, leading to hundreds and thousands of people escaping the country in search of security and safety.

For a long time, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the fact that he would invade his neighbour. Little did we know, he unleashed the forces and tore up the peace deal and entered Ukraine’s north, south, and east.

The next few serious steps can entirely jeopardise the continent’s security and structure.

The death number climbs up each day in the ongoing conflict. According to sources, more than 2,000 Ukrainian troops and over 9,000 Russian troops have been killed. The Russian defence ministry dismissed this by stating that only 498 troops have perished.

On Wednesday, India continued to maintain its neutral position after abstaining from voting against Russia in a UN General Assembly resolution. This is the third time that India abstained in less than a week. Despite India’s stance in the voting, the UN General Assembly took the resolution deploring Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Along with Pakistan and China, India was among 35 countries that abstained from voting on the resolution, demanding Russia’s withdrawal of all its military forces from Ukraine’s borders. The voting saw emphatic support for the resolution. Although it wasn’t legally binding, it conveyed the popular opinion of the 193-member General Assembly. It was adopted with 141 votes in favour. The General Assembly applauded the adoption of the resolution.

Reason India Abstained on UN Vote Against Russia

T.S. Tirumurti, India’s representative to the UN, chose what India has traditionally done whenever it was expected to take a stand against Russia.

Tirumurti said, “India is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine. We urge that all efforts are made for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities”.

The abstention of India allows it to reach out to both sides to find a middle ground and foster diplomacy and dialogue.

After explaining India’s side, Tirumurti demanded safe passage for all Indians in the conflict zone.

Tirumurti expressed, “Dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment,” he continued saying, “It is a matter of regret that the path of diplomacy was given up. We must return to it. For all these reasons, India has chosen to abstain on this resolution.”

India’s ambivalence at this huge turning point in geopolitics is born out of the strategic partnerships and friendship on both sides. India shares a bilateral relationship with Russia.

Russia is also India’s time-tested supplier of defence weapons, and Russia has also stood behind the country at the UNSC on several issues.

At the same time, India also shares a great partnership with the US.

India has a huge network of Indian diasporas and people to people contacts. This makes it a vital ally for India as it tackles China’s moves at the UN.

In Conclusion

Global markets have shaken. The prices have skyrocketed and sanctions imposed by Europe, America, and Russian banks, leading to a chaotic situation and uncertainty in the world economy.

As we live in the post-pandemic world, the turbulence in cost can create a catastrophic impact individually and globally.

Amidst all, India’s contradiction lies between voting for the end of violence and urging members to abide by the principles of international laws.

There is a debate within India’s foreign policy establishment on what kind of profit or loss would be gained by backing away from the West.

Some argue that the West could benefit from having India as a strategic partner, as it seeks to contain China.


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58 points
Nitya Jain

Nitya Jain is an enthusiastic content writer and a life-long learner with an undying curiosity to explore new things. She loves fresh humour, just like her tea! When not writing, you'll find her raiding book stores or hopping cafes in town.