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India sticks to neutral stand, abstains again from voting against Russia at UN

India continued to maintain its neutral stand as it abstained from voting on a UN General Assembly resolution on Wednesday (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@UN_Photo)

India on Wednesday continued to maintain its neutral stand as it abstained from voting on a UN General Assembly resolution that strongly deplored Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

India’s abstention was in accordance with what the government has explained as the country’s consistent position that allows it to reach out to both sides to find a solution to the conflict through diplomacy and dialogue. 

The 193-member General Assembly Wednesday voted to reaffirm its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and "deplores in the strongest terms" Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

The resolution was adopted with 141 votes in favour, five Member States voting against and 35 abstentions.

The resolution also condemned Russia's decision to increase the readiness of its nuclear forces and deplores the involvement of Belarus in this unlawful use of force against Ukraine, and calls upon it to abide by its international obligations.

It urges the immediate peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine through political dialogue, negotiations, mediation and other peaceful means.

The UN General Assembly resolution is not legally binding but is seen as an expression of “popular will” by the western countries opposed to Russia.  

The UNGA resolution was similar to the one circulated in the 15-nation UN Security Council last Friday, on which also India had abstained. The UNSC resolution, which received 11 votes in favour and three abstentions, was blocked after permanent member Russia exercised its veto.

Following the failure of the Council to adopt the resolution, the Security Council voted on Sunday again to convene a rare "emergency special session" of the 193-member General Assembly on the crisis. India again abstained on this resolution, reiterating that "there is no other choice but to return back to the path of diplomacy and dialogue."

The procedural resolution Sunday was adopted even though Moscow voted against it and the General Assembly then held a rare emergency special session on the Ukraine crisis Monday.

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