What has happened?
- India for the first time on August 24 voted against Russia during a “procedural vote” at the United Nations Security Council on Ukraine.
- 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 U.N. Security Council on Ukraine, much to the annoyance of the Western powers led by the United States.
- Western nations, including the U.S., have imposed major economic and other sanctions on Russia following the aggression.
- India has not criticised 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.
But why the voting took place?
- On August 24, the UNSC held a meeting to take stock of the now six-month-old conflict on the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.
- As the meeting began, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily A. Nebenzia requested a procedural vote concerning Ukrainian President’s participation in the meeting by video teleconference.
- The Council extended an invitation to Mr. Zelenskyy to participate in the meeting via video teleconference by a vote of 13 in favour to one against.
- Russia voted against such an invitation, while China abstained.
Why Russia was against it?
- Nebenzia insisted that Russia does not oppose Mr. Zelenskyy’s participation, but such participation must be in-person.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council decided to work virtually, but such meetings were informal and, after the pandemic’s peak,
- The Council returned to the provisional rules of procedure, he argued.
- Nebenzia regretted that Council members had spoken out against complying with the rules of the organ.
- “We can understand the logic of Kyiv’s Western backers…,” he said, expressing disappointment that other members contributed to the erosion of the Council’s very foundation and practices.
- Albania’s Mr. Hoxha argued that Ukraine is at war, and the situation in that country requires the President to be there.
- Due to this unique situation, he supported Mr. Zelenskyy’s participation via video teleconference and urged other members to do the same.
India’s voting at UN
- India’s tilt towards Russia has been evident in the way the two countries have interacted with each other in the United Nations.
- Only during four years—1946, 1948, 1950 and 1962—did India’s voting patterns at the UN adhere more closely to the US than to those of the USSR or the Russian Federation.
- From the 1970s, India leaned closer to the Soviet Union and moved further away from the US. India supported the Soviet Union or abstained from voting on a number of issues
Russia’s vote in favour of India
- At the same time, India has been the beneficiary of the Russian veto on several instances.
- The Soviet Union was the only country to veto resolutions in the UN Security Council against UN interventions in Kashmir in 1957, 1962 and 1971.
- Yet another instance when the Russian veto had helped India was during the Goa liberation movement of 1961.
- The Russian veto was once again crucial in determining India’s victory in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.
What zelenskyy said?
- Soon thereafter, Mr. Zelenskyy in his remarks via a videoconference called for the Russian Federation to be held accountable for its crimes of aggression against Ukraine.
- “If Moscow is not stopped now, then all these Russian murderers will inevitably end up in other countries,” he said.
- “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.
- Zelenskyy alleged that Russia has placed the world on the brink of nuclear catastrophe by turning the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant into a war zone.
- The plant has six reactors and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must take permanent control of the situation as soon as possible, he said.
- The Ukrainian President called on Russia to cease its “nuclear blackmail” and completely withdraw from the plant.
- N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed grave concern over the situation in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, underscoring that “the warning lights are flashing”.
- Any actions that might endanger the physical integrity, safety or security of the plant are unacceptable, and any further escalation of the situation could lead to self-destruction, he said.
- The United States on Wednesday, 17 August, said that it is going to
- be a long-term proposition for India, which has a decades-old relationship with Moscow, to reorient its foreign policy away from Russia.
- “Reorienting a country’s foreign policy or a country’s security establishment or defense procurement practices away from a country like Russia is not something that we can do overnight.
- It’s not something that we can do over the course of weeks or even months. We do see this as a long-term challenge,” US Department Spokesperson Ned Price said at a press conference in response to a question on the US’ failure to isolate Moscow.
Q) Recently which countries signed a landmark deal with the United Nations on resuming grain shipments?
- Russia and Ukraine
- India and Ukraine
- India and Russia
- USA and Ukraine