- India has stayed out of votes on resolutions about Russia's invasion of Ukraine three times before, twice in the Security Council and once in the General Assembly.
- The resolution would have also told Russia to stop its full-scale illegal invasion of Ukraine right away and to stop making any more illegal threats or using force against any Member State.
India didn’t vote when Russia blocked a UN Security Council resolution proposed by the US and Albania. The resolution would have condemned Moscow’s “illegal referenda” and said that its annexation of four Ukrainian territories was invalid. New Delhi didn’t vote because of the “totality of the changing situation.”
The 15-country UN Security Council voted on a draught resolution on “Illegal So-Called Referendums in Ukraine” on Friday, just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties to take over the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia at a ceremony in the Kremlin.
Russia, which has a permanent seat on the UNSC, used its veto to stop the resolution from being passed. It was backed by 10 of the 15 Council members. China, Gabon, India, and Brazil did not vote on it.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, spoke to the Council after the vote. She said that India is very upset by the recent turn of events in Ukraine, and that New Delhi has always argued that no solution can be reached at the cost of human lives.
“We ask all sides to do everything they can to stop fighting and violence as soon as possible. “The only way to settle disagreements and differences is to talk to each other, no matter how hard that might seem right now,” she said when she explained the vote.
“If we want peace, we have to keep all diplomatic doors open,” she said. Kamboj said that India’s position on this conflict has been clear and consistent from the start. He also said that the global order is based on the UN Charter, international law, and respect for each country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“It’s in no one’s best interest for rhetoric or tensions to get worse. It’s important to find ways to get back to the table and talk things out. India has decided not to vote on this resolution because of how the situation is changing as a whole,” she said.
Before the vote, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that the results of Russia’s “sham referendums” had already been decided in Moscow.
“Everyone is aware of it. They were put in front of Russian guns and held there. “We’ve seen the Ukrainian people fight over and over again for their country and democracy,” she said.
“We saw Putin celebrating this clear violation of international law earlier today. He had a party in Red Square to praise himself for these illegal elections. He is bragging and talking about the Soviet empire, and he said that this was just the beginning. “As we all sit in this room and think seriously about this resolution, Putin is shoving our shared values in our faces and bragging about it,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
She said that if Russia doesn’t want to be held accountable, “we will take further steps in the General Assembly” to show Moscow that the world is still on the side of protecting sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Vassily Nebenzia, who is Russia’s permanent representative, said before the vote that the results of the referendum show that the people who live there do not want to go back to Ukraine.
“They chose our country freely and with knowledge,” he said, adding that the referendums were held in full accordance with the rules and principles of international law.
He also said that the results were valid in the eyes of the more than 100 international observers who watched the voting from Italy, Germany, Venezuela, Latvia, and other places.
He said, “Washington, which criticises us the most and talks the most about Ukraine’s territorial integrity, recently said they were ready to use force to protect Taiwan, which is a part of the People’s Republic of China.”
Nebenzia said that agreements have been made for these new areas to join the Russian Federation.
He said, “There will be no going back, which is what today’s draught resolution would try to force.”
The resolution would have criticised Russia for holding “so-called illegal referendums” in parts of Ukraine that are inside the internationally recognised borders of that country.
It would have said that Russia’s “illegal actions” regarding the illegal so-called referendums held from September 23 to 27 in parts of Ukraine’s Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya regions that are temporarily under Russia’s control “cannot be used to change the status of these regions of Ukraine, including any supposed annexation of any of these regions by the Russian Federation.” The resolution would have also asked all states, international organisations, and specialised agencies not to recognise any alleged Russian takeover of any or all of Ukraine’s Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, or Zaporizhzhya regions, and to avoid doing anything that could be seen as recognising any such alleged takeover.
Kamboj said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “clearly” told other world leaders, like Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, about how important dialogue and diplomacy are. She also talked about what External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said about Ukraine at last week’s high-level General Assembly meeting.
Referring to what Modi said to Putin at the SCO Summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, last month, “today is not an era of war,” Kamboj said that New Delhi sincerely hopes for an early resumption of peace talks that will lead to an immediate ceasefire and end to the conflict.
India has stayed out of votes on resolutions about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine three times before, twice in the Security Council and once in the General Assembly.
India, unlike many other major Western countries, hasn’t yet criticised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, and it didn’t vote against the Russian invasion at the UN.
India got criticism from both Republicans and Democrats in the US because it didn’t vote against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the UN. Moscow and New Delhi work together a lot on defence.
India signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia in October 2018 to buy five S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems to strengthen its air defence. This was done even though the Trump administration at the time warned that going through with the deal could lead to US sanctions.
Under the CAATSA, the US has already put Turkey on a list of countries that can’t buy weapons from the US. This is because Turkey bought S-400 missile defence systems from Russia.
India won’t change its mind about buying the missile defence system, even though the US is very against it and the Biden administration has threatened to put sanctions in place if it does.
In November of last year, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that India has an independent foreign policy and that its defence purchases are based on its national security needs.
Earlier on Friday, Russian President Putin said that the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia had been taken over by Russia.
The announcement came a day after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “Any annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the Principles of the UN Charter and international law.” Guterres said that any decision to annex the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia would be illegal and should be criticised.
“It can’t be squared with the rules of international law. It goes against everything that the international community is supposed to be about. It goes against the goals and ideas of the United Nations. This is a dangerous step up. It doesn’t belong in the world today. “We can’t accept it,” the head of the UN said.
The resolution would have also told Russia to stop its full-scale illegal invasion of Ukraine right away and to stop making any more illegal threats or using force against any Member State.
It would have also decided that Russia should immediately, completely, and without conditions pull out all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. This includes the areas where the illegal so-called referendums were held, so that the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine could be solved peacefully through political dialogue, negotiation, mediation, or other peaceful means.