India for the first time has voted against Russia during a “procedural vote” at the United Nations Security Council on Ukraine on Wednesday, August 24th, as the 15-member powerful UN body invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to address a meeting through a video tele-conference.
This is for the first time that India has voted against Russia on the issue of Ukraine, after the Russian military action began in February. So far, New Delhi has abstained at the UN Security Council on Ukraine, much to the annoyance of the Western powers led by the United States.
Although this was the first time India had not abstained on a matter linked to Ukraine and voted with the west, the vote was different from the issues India had abstained on and those were more substantial. “It was (only) for or against Zelensky’s participation” in the meeting through a video link, the source pointed out. Before this, India had abstained on two occasions at the UNSC and once in the General Assembly on the resolutions on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
India has not criticized Russia for its aggression against Ukraine. New Delhi has repeatedly called upon the Russian and Ukrainian sides to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue, and also expressed its support for all diplomatic efforts to end the conflict between the two countries.
India currently is a non-permanent member of the UNSC for a two-year term, which ends in December. Western nations, including the US, have imposed major economic and other sanctions on Russia following the aggression.
On the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, the UN Security Council met on Wednesday to assess the six-month-old conflict. As the meeting began, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily A Nebenzia requested a procedural vote on the Ukrainian President’s video teleconference participation.
Following his and Albanian Prime Minister Ferit Hoxha’s words, the Council invited Zelensky to join in the meeting via video teleconference by a vote of 13 to one. Russia and China both voted against such an invitation.
Zelensky, addressing via video conference, demanded that the Russian Federation be held accountable for its actions against Ukraine. “If Moscow is not stopped now,” he continued, “all these Russian murderers will definitely end up in other countries.”
“It is on the territory of Ukraine that the world’s future will be decided,” he added. “Our independence is your security,” he told the UNSC.
The Ukrainian President called on Russia to cease its “nuclear blackmail” and completely withdraw from the plant.
Ukraine celebrated its Independence Day on Wednesday, which also marked exactly six months since the start of Russia’s military offensive against the country on February 24.