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India again abstains from UNGA on resolution condemning Russia

India again abstains from UNGA on resolution condemning Russia

Indian ambassador Ruchira Kamboj 

India on Thursday abstained as the UN General Assembly voted to adopt a resolution condemning "illegal so-called referendums" organised by Russia in four Ukrainian regions even as it reiterated deep concern at the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.

The resolution, which declared that "attempted illegal annexation" of the regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine have no validity under international law, was adopted by a 143-5 vote in the 193-member General Assembly. Thirty-five countries, including India, abstained.

In an explanation of the country's vote, India's permanent representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, said the country's decision to abstain was "consistent with our well-thought-out national position". There are also "other pressing issues" at play and some of them have not been adequately addressed in the resolution, she said.

"My prime minister has said unequivocally that this cannot be an era of war. With this firm resolve to strive for a peaceful solution through dialogue and diplomacy, India has decided to abstain," she said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Samarkand on September 16.

Kamboj said India is "deeply concerned at the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, including the targeting of civilian infrastructure and deaths of civilians".

Dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes and the path to peace "requires us to keep all channels of diplomacy open", Kamboj said.

Kamboj also highlighted how the Ukraine conflict has had widespread impacts on food and energy security, especially for developing countries.

Kamboj reiterated external affairs minister S Jaishankar's recent address to the annual session of the General Assembly in September, when he had said that India is "on the side of peace", and will remain firmly there.

She also brushed aside efforts by Pakistan's permanent representative to link the war in Ukraine to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, describing the remarks as an attempt to misuse the UN General Assembly.

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