On Friday, India withdrew itself from voting against Russia on the stage of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Within 72 hours, the Russian army started to carry out a series of aerial attacks on the capital of Ukraine, including Kyiv. Yesterday South Block expressed ‘deep concern’ over the whole issue. A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs called for an ‘immediate cessation of violence’. It has also been said, ‘India is ready to participate in any kind of initiative to stop the conflict’.
Statement from diplomatic camp
According to the diplomatic camp, yesterday’s statement is no different from the policy of balance followed by the Narendra Modi government on the Russia-Ukraine war from last February till yesterday. At the same time, the Prime Minister sat face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the SCO conference in Samarkand and said that this is not the time for war. Food and energy security. His speech has been appreciated in the West including America. At the same time, crude oil imports from Russia continue despite the bloodshed of the G-5 group.
The UN Human Rights Commission voted on a draft resolution on Friday. The proposal was about appointing an independent expert to look into Russia’s human rights record. According to diplomatic sources, India did not want to displease Moscow by participating in this vote. So, it withdrew from the vote. But on the same day, India voted in favor of an investigation into the human rights situation in Afghanistan with the European Union.
The stance of the External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson
When asked to comment on the matter after the attack in Kyiv yesterday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “India is deeply concerned about the escalation of conflict in Ukraine. Infrastructure is being targeted and civilians are being killed. We reiterate that escalation of violence will serve no one’s interests. We are calling for an immediate end to the conflict and a speedy return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue. We are ready to engage in all initiatives to this end.”
Bagchi added, “Since the start of this conflict, we have been consistently stating our position. That is, the entire world order rests on the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states, the Charter of the United Nations, and international law.”
India yesterday issued an advisory to all Indians living in Ukraine after the Russian aggression escalated. It said that everyone should avoid traveling within Ukraine unless it is an emergency. It is advised not to travel to Ukraine at this time. Apart from this, the message that everyone should follow the security rules issued by the local administration is also given.
Significantly, Prime Minister Modi had a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy last week. The prime minister also expressed concern to Zelenskyy about the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear reactors in a war situation. In his words, “nuclear power plants can have far-reaching and harmful effects on public health and the environment if they are compromised.”