Ukraine crisis: India abstains from UNSC vote for UNGA session

In an exercise in diplomatic caution, India has abstained from a procedural vote taken in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to call for a rare special emergency session of the UN General Assembly on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

The resolution was adopted with 11 votes in favour, paving the way for the General Assembly meeting, likely on February 28/March 1.

Like in the vote on the US-sponsored resolution in UNSC on Russian aggression, this time around also India, China and China and the UAE abstained, while Russia voted against the resolution.

This will be only the 11th such emergency session of the General Assembly since 1950.

The 15-nation Security Council met to hold the vote on the emergency special session of the 193-member General Assembly on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The vote calling for the UNGA session was procedural which means none of the five permanent members of the Security Council—China, France, Russia, the UK and the US—could exercise their vetoes.

“It is regrettable that the situation in Ukraine has worsened further since the Council last convened on this matter,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador T. S. Tirumurti, said in the explanation of Monday’s vote.

Mr Tirumurti added that “there is no other choice but to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue.” “We welcome today’s announcement by both sides to hold talks at the Belarus border,” he said.

The ambassador also expressed deep concerns about the safety and security of Indian nationals, including a large number of Indian students, who are still stranded in Ukraine. “Our evacuation efforts have been adversely impacted by the complex and uncertain situation at the border crossings. It is important to maintain an uninterrupted and predictable movement of people. It is an urgent humanitarian necessity that must be immediately addressed,” he said.