For the first time, India votes against Russia at UNSC in procedural vote on Ukraine


India voted against Russia for the first time on Wednesday in a “procedural vote” at the United Nations Security Council on Ukraine, as the powerful 15-member UN body urged the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to speak during a meeting via video teleconference. It is the first time that India has voted against Russia on the Ukraine issue, following the start of Russian military action in February. New Delhi has so far abstained from the UN Security Council on Ukraine, much to the chagrin of Western powers led by the United States.

Western nations, including the United States, have imposed significant economic and other sanctions on Russia following the aggression. India did not criticize Russia for its aggression against Ukraine. New Delhi has repeatedly called on the Russian and Ukrainian sides to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue, and also expressed support for all diplomatic efforts aimed at ending the conflict between the two countries.

India is currently a non-permanent member of the UNSC for a two-year term, which ends in December. On Wednesday, the UNSC held a meeting to take stock of the conflict that has now lasted six months on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. At the start of the meeting, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily A Nebenzia called for a procedural vote regarding the Ukrainian President’s participation in the meeting via video teleconference.

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Following his statements and that of Ferit Hoxha of Albania, the Council invited Zelensky to participate in the meeting by video teleconference by a vote of 13 in favor to one against. Russia voted against such an invitation, while China abstained. Nebenzia insisted that Russia does not object to Zelensky’s participation, but such participation must be in person. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board decided to work virtually, but those meetings were informal, and after the peak of the pandemic, the Board reverted to interim rules of procedure, he explained.

Reiterating that his country’s objection relates specifically to the President’s participation via videoconference, he called for a procedural vote on this issue, which India and 12 other countries disagreed with and backed Zelensky for he addresses the Council by videoconference. Hoxha from Albania argued that Ukraine is at war and the situation there requires the president to be there. Due to this unique situation, he supported Zelensky’s participation via video conference call and urged other members to do the same.

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Nebenzia regretted that the members of the Council spoke out against respecting the rules of the body. “We can understand the logic of Western donors to Kyiv…” he said, expressing disappointment that other members had contributed to the erosion of the council’s very foundations and practices. Shortly after, Zelensky, in his remarks via videoconference, called on 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 future of the world will be decided,” he added. “Our independence is your security,” he told the UNSC. Zelensky claimed that Russia had brought the world to the brink of nuclear catastrophe by turning the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant into a war zone. The plant has six reactors – only one exploded in Chernobyl – 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 stop its “nuclear blackmail” and withdraw completely from the plant. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was gravely concerned about the situation in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, stressing that “warning lights are flashing”. Any action that could endanger the physical integrity, safety or security of the plant is unacceptable, and any further escalation of the situation could lead to self-destruction, he said and called for ensuring the safety of the plant, that the facility be re-established as purely civilian infrastructure and that the IAEA conduct a mission to the site as soon as possible.

António Guterres also expressed concern about alleged violations of international humanitarian law. US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield said “Russia’s goal is clearer than ever: to dismantle Ukraine as a geopolitical entity and erase it from the world map. world.

“His disinformation campaigns are increasingly militarized to prepare for new attempts to annex Ukrainian territory,” she said. However, the international community will never recognize Russia’s attempt to change Ukraine’s borders by force, she told the UN Security Council.

Noting that Ukraine had an impeccable nuclear energy safety and security record at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, she said that the Russian Federation had recklessly attacked and taken control of this site by force, risking a nuclear disaster. called Operation Filtering,” which involves the systematic and forced deportation of Ukrainian civilians to remote areas of the Russian Federation.

Envoys from France, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom, Gabon, Ghana, Mexico and China, as well as the European Union in its capacity as observers also took the floor on this occasion. Ukraine celebrated its Independence Day on Wednesday, which also marked exactly six months since the start of the Russian military offensive against the country on February 24.

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