Breaking abstinence, India votes against Russia in UNSC procedural matter
In a first since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, India went against Russia in a procedural matter to vote for allowing Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky to address the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) via a video conference. The meeting was to review the Russia-Ukraine war which completed its six months since February 24 on Wednesday coinciding with the 31st anniversary of Ukraine's independence.
Why does this story matter?
- India had so far been abstaining from voting on the Russia-Ukraine crisis at the UNSC since the conflict began in February this year.
- Western powers led by the US have been putting pressure on India to vote against Russia and to distance itself from trading with Russia.
- India has called upon Russia and Ukraine to resolve the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.
Russia only member to vote against, China abstained
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily A Nebenzia requested a procedural vote regarding Zelensky's participation in the meeting via video conference. He said Russia does not oppose Zelensky's participation but was of the opinion that the participation must be in person, since the pandemic had subsided. Russia was the only member to vote against among the 15-member council, while China abstained from voting.
World's future to be decided on Ukraine's territory: Zelensky
Nebenzia expressed regret that the Council members went against complying with the Council's rules. He said, "We can understand the logic of Kyiv's Western backers," and other Council members were complacent in eroding the Council's norms. Addressing the Council, Zelensky said the world's future will be decided on Ukraine's territory. "Our independence is your security," he said.
India's UNSC membership to end in December
US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas Greenfield alleged that "Russia's goal was to dismantle Ukraine as a geopolitical entity and erase it from the world map." She raised concerns about Russia forcefully deporting citizens of Ukraine to remote areas of the Russian Federation. India is a non-permanent member of the UNSC, currently for a two-year term which concludes in December this year.