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The EU hopes that India will “use its links” with the Russian government to convince President Putin to end the war.
Demarche and Lobbying
The European Union envoy presented a demarche to the Ministry of External Affairs on February 15, 2023. The demarche of the EU sought India’s support on a resolution that will be taken up at the UNGA on Wednesday.
The debate on the resolution will start on February 22, at the emergency session of the UN. The said resolution seeks immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of all the Russian military from the territory of Ukraine and returns to its internationally recognized borders.
The resolution also vehemently calls for cessation of hostilities. The immediate cessation of hostilities has also been India’s stand at the UN.
The resolution is co-sponsored by more than 50 countries, the majority of which are European Union countries. The language of the resolution deplores the dire humanitarian consequences of the war.
Convincing India: France taking the lead
French diplomats are in contact with the political leaders of India, with the intent that India will re-balance its position.
France is working under the assumption that it’s very unlikely that India will change its stand on the Russia-Ukraine issue at the UN, but Paris thinks that it’s not a question of choosing sides but rather a question of balance.
However, it is likely that India’s stand this time also going to be another abstention.
India’s stand on Russia-Ukraine can be best summarised as balancing between the principles of territorial integrity and National Interest. On the national interest front, India is significantly tied to Russia for its defense supply requirements, along with the traditional good friendship of decades.
As far as, the principle of respecting territorial integrity is concerned, India should be the flag-bearer, as India has never crossed the ‘line’ despite facing countless hostilities from Pakistan and China.
UN and War
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution has been one of the powerful diplomatic methods to nudge recalcitrant countries to course correct. The majority votes on any resolution of UNGA indicate the wishes of the global community.
Ever since the Russia-Ukraine war broke out, several UNGA resolutions critical of Russia and demanding cessation of violence and resumption of peace talks have been passed by UNGA.
India’s Voting Pattern on Russia-Ukraine
Neutrality and abstention have been India’s stand at the UN on Russia- Ukraine resolution much to the annoyance of its western friends of India.
On previous occasions, when the agenda of the Russia- Ukraine war was tabled at the UN, India has taken a stand of abstention and has not voted against Russia. The only exception is the procedural vote at UNSC on August 24, 2022.
In October 2022, Five countries including Russia voted against the resolution that called for talk between Russia and Ukraine. 35 countries chose to abstain, including India.
Explaining India’s stand, Ruchira Kamboj, India’s permanent representative to the UN said that India called for the cessation of hostilities and has urged Russia and Ukraine to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN further added that India continues to reiterate that the global order is anchored on international law, the UN charter, and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the states.
The latest turn of Events
On February 21, 2023, while addressing the Russian lawmakers Mr. Putin accused the US and European countries of trying to ally against Russia & trying to involve other counties in the war and turn it into a confrontation against Russia.
Russian President told the lawmakers in Moscow that the Western Power are intending to translate the local conflict into a global confrontation and Russia understand this way and will react accordingly.
On February 20, 2023, US President Joe Biden, visited Kyiv, on a surprise trip, reassuring his unwavering commitment to its democracy and reinforcing US faith in Ukraine’s cause.
Prospect of Peace
Indian Prime Minister on the sidelines of the SCO summit, on September 16, 2022, told Mr. Putin that today’s time is not a time for war. All the belligerents involved in the war should understand India’s stand on war, peace & National interest, as illustrated by PM Modi.
Ukraine gets Arms Support from the US and Europe