On Wednesday, August 24, India cast the deciding vote against Russia in a “procedural vote” at the UN
security Council on Ukraine. At the time, the 15-member, influential UN body had invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to address a meeting via
Since the Russian military intervention started in February, India has never before voted against Russia on the topic of Ukraine.
India has broken a string of abstentions on UN Security Council votes involving Ukraine by casting a vote in favour of a procedural motion that Russia had opposed.
In defiance of Moscow’s position, India voted in favour of inviting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to speak via distant video link on Wednesday along with 12 other Council members. Russia obviously voted against the invitation, and China abstained, but as it was a procedural matter, it did not constitute a veto.
New Delhi has so far refrained from voting on Ukraine in the UN Security Council, much to the chagrin of the Western nations led by the United States.
Steps were taken by the Western countries
Following the aggression, Western countries, particularly the US, sanctioned Russia severely on the economic and other fronts. Russia’s actions towards Ukraine have not received criticism from India.
The Russian and Ukrainian sides have been urged to resume the path of diplomacy and negotiation on numerous occasions, and New Delhi has reaffirmed its support for all diplomatic attempts to put an end to the crisis between the two nations.
India has a two-year non
permanent membership in the UNSC that expires in December. Following the aggression, Western countries, especially the US, slapped harsh economic and other sanctions on Russia. India has not denounced Russia for its hostility toward Ukraine.
New Delhi has repeatedly urged both the Russian and Ukrainian sides to resume diplomatic relations and dialogue. It has also backed any diplomatic efforts to put an end to the conflict between the two nations.
India is a non-permanent member of the UNSC at the moment, serving a two-year term that ends in December. On the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, the United Nations Security Council met on Wednesday
to discuss the conflict, which has now lasted six months.
A procedural vote on the Ukrainian President’s attendance in the meeting via video teleconference was
requested earlier in the meeting by Vassily A. Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the UN.
The Council voted 131 to invite Zelenskyy to the meeting via video conference call after hearing from him and Ferit Hoxha of Albania.
China abstained, and Russia voted against the invitation. Nebentsia emphasised that although Russia would
not object to Zelenskyy’s participation, it had to be personal.
He claimed that although the council chose to
convene virtually during the COVID19 pandemic, these meetings are informal, and following the pandemic’s
climax, the council returned to its provisional norms of the procedure.
India and 12 Other countries disagreement with the call
India and 12 other nations disagreed with his call for a procedural vote on the issue, and he reiterated that
his country’s objections related specifically to the President’s participation via videoconference.
He also supported Zelenskyy’s right to address the council via videoconference.
Vassily Nbenzia, the Permanent Representative of Russia, objected to Zelensky’s video link arrangement at
the start of the meeting and requested that he appear in person in the Council chamber to ask for the vote,
which ultimately revealed Moscow’s isolation.
Ruchira Kamboj, India’s Permanent Representative, maintained New Delhi’s unique position of neutrality in
the war in Ukraine throughout her remarks during the meeting. She urged an urgent end to the violence, saying that the conflict has caused millions of people to become homeless and compelled to seek refuge in neighbouring countries, especially women, children, and the elderly.
“We support discussions between Ukraine and Russia, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to them about this on more than one occasion,” the statement reads. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine have been contacted by Modi, who has urged them to hold negotiations for a peaceful end to the conflict.
Nbenzia, meanwhile, said that Russia carried out the “special operation” in response to risks posed by what he called Ukraine’s nonsensical “crusade” as a cause of the crisis.
By Namrata Sarkar | Thursday 25th Aug 2022