"WE RESPECT INDIA'S POSITION": EU ENVOY ON INDIA'S ABSTENTION FROM UN VOTE ON UKRAINE
European Union's ambassador to India, Ugo Astuto, on Friday said he respects India's position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. He made the remark while responding to a question about India's abstention from the voting at the United Nations General Assembly.
"We respect India's position. We have also taken good note of what the Prime Minister has said not so long ago that this is not the time for war. And we have also noted what India has been trying proactively, for instance on the occasion when the arrangement to export grains through the Black Sea were being negotiated. So, India is playing a positive role and I am sure that this will continue," said the EU envoy.
India abstained from voting in the UN General Assembly on Thursday on a resolution that underscored the need to reach as soon as possible a "comprehensive, just and lasting peace" in Ukraine in line with the principles of the UN Charter.
During the vote in the 193-member UNGA, 141 member nations voted in favour of the resolution. While 7 opposed the resolution, 32 members. including India and China, abstained.
Speaking on the first anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the envoy said it stands with Ukraine and it's important that the international community comes together to define the principles of the value of the UN charter.
"We are marking a very sad anniversary. Unfortunately, one year of Russian aggression. As European Union, Ukraine is our friend, it is our partner. We stand with Ukraine and we believe it's important that whole of the international community comes together to define the principles of value of the UN charter," Astuto told ANI.
On the first anniversary of the ongoing conflict, the EU Ambassador, heads of missions of EU Member States & like-minded countries along with Charge d'affaires of Ukraine, Ivan Konovalov here observed a minute of silence to commemorate the victims.
Christina Scott, UK Minister and Deputy High Commissioner to India, said the United Kingdom is part of a group that is supporting Ukraine. Speaking to ANI, Scott said the people of Ukraine have suffered incredible losses over the past year, but have demonstrated resilience and determination in the face of Russian aggression.
"The United Kingdom is proud to be part of the group that is supporting Ukraine. This is Russia's aggression and the United Kingdom with its allies and supporters will continue to support Ukraine as they fight back for their country," Scott said.
"Our solidarity is with the people of Ukraine who have suffered incredible losses over the past year, but have shown such resilience and determination in the face of Russian aggression. So it's important that we mark today with seriousness and with respect for the Ukrainian people, for everything that they endure," she added.
On India's abstention from voting at the UNGA, she said, "India's position is for itself to decide obviously. It is important that countries take their own decisions and India will decide how it chooses to vote."
Scott called it important to recognise that this was a very overwhelming vote in support of Ukraine at the UNSC.
"I think the important thing is to recognize that this was a very overwhelming vote in support of Ukraine at the Security Council and the overwhelming view of the international community is to stand with Ukraine and to support urgent and accelerated end to this Putin's war," Scott told ANI.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict started on February 24 last year with bombings that threatened to alter global geopolitics.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday denounced Russia's invasion as a violation of the founding UN Charter and international law and called out its threats about the possible use of nuclear weapons.