Ukraine Crisis: How India’s abstention from UNSC vote is different from China's

The resolution sought to declare that Russia has committed acts of aggression against Ukraine and the situation is a breach of international peace and security
Last Updated 26 February 2022, 16:48 IST

Affirming its nonaligned heritage, India abstained on a Security Council resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine and putting a strain on its growing ties with the US and the West.

India joined China and the United Arab Emirates on Friday evening in staying on the sidelines on the resolution which received 11 votes in the 15-member Council but was shot down by Russia which as a permanent member used its veto.

What was the resolution about?

The resolution sought to declare that Russia has committed acts of aggression against Ukraine and the situation is a breach of international peace and security.

It also would have demanded that Russia “shall immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine and shall refrain from any further unlawful threat or use of force against any UN member state”.

It also asked Russia to “immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders,” and Moscow to “immediately and unconditionally reverse the decision related to the status of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine”.

Why did India abstain?

Before explaining India’s reason behind abstaining, Permanent Representative T S 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.”

“Dialogue is the only answer to the settling of differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment,” he said.

"The contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, international law and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. all member states need to honour these principles and find a constructive way forward,” he said explaining India's abstention.

How is India’s abstention different from China's?

Even though China and India have both abstained from voting, the reason behind the move is very different. While both nations have supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity, China has virtually defended Russia.

Stating the reason, China Ambassador Zhang Jun said, “ We believe that one country’s security cannot be at the expense of the security of others and that regional security should not rely on muscling up or even expanding military blocs. The legitimate security concerns of all countries should be respected. Against the backdrop of five successive rounds of NATO’s eastward expansion, Russia’s legitimate security aspirations should be given attention and properly addressed.”

Meanwhile, India’s abstention was driven by its long strategic relationship with Russia and diplomatic reasons.

(With agency inputs)

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(Published 26 February 2022, 10:36 IST)

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