In its sharpest statement on the Russia-Ukraine war yet, India on Thursday “strongly” called for an end to the armed conflict and said the situation was a matter of “profound concern”.
Speaking at the UN Security Council, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, “The trajectory of the Ukraine conflict is a matter of profound concern for the entire international community. The outlook appears truly disturbing.”
“India is strongly reiterating the need for an immediate cessation of all hostilities and a return to dialogue and diplomacy. Clearly, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized, this cannot be an era of war,” he said, reiterating PM Modi’s message to Russian President Vladimir Putin days ago at a regional summit.
“Even in conflict situations, there can be no justification for violation of human rights or of international law. Where any such acts occur, it is imperative that they are investigated in an objective and independent manner,” Dr Jaishankar said.
The briefing at the 15-member body, chaired by French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna, was held Thursday as world leaders gathered in the UN headquarters for the high-level 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
Addressing the Council briefing were UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly and Foreign Ministers of other UNSC members.
Dr Jaishankar told the Council that in a globalised world, the impact of the conflict is being felt even in distant regions.
“We have all experienced its consequences in terms of surging costs and actual shortages of food grains, fertilizers and fuel… on this core too, there are good grounds to be worried about what awaits us,” he said.
Counting Moscow among its most key partners, India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
On Wednesday, Dr Jaishankar met Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal at the UN headquarters here and apprised him of India’s principled position that emphasises cessation of all hostilities and return to dialogue and diplomacy.