In a delicate balancing act amid escalating tensions, India abstained from a vote on a resolution in the United Nations Security Council on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stressed the need for the middle ground in resolving the issue through diplomacy and dialogue.
A day after the Russian attack on Ukraine, a resolution on the situation on Ukraine was tabled for action on February 25 in the UN Security Council. In the 15-member Council, the resolution received 11 votes in favour, one vote against (Russia), with three abstentions (India, UAE, China).
The resolution was not passed as Russia, a permanent member of the UNSC, voted against the resolution. In view of its robust relations with both US and Russia, India abstained, and issued an Explanation of Vote after the vote in which New Delhi called for return to path of diplomacy.
However, in an indirect critique of Russian action, India also called for respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, the first time it used this expression since the eruption of the Ukraine crisis. As conveyed by PM Modi to President Putin in a telephonic conversation, in its explanation vote, India called for immediate cessation of violence and hostilities and stressed that all member states should honour principles of international law and UN Charter, as these provide a constructive way forward.
By abstaining, India retained the option of reaching out to relevant sides in an effort to bridge the gap and find the middle ground with an aim to foster dialogue and diplomacy, said sources.
An earlier draft of the resolution had proposed moving the resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which provides the framework within which the Security Council may take enforcement action. However, this was dropped in the final version that was put to vote.
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