‘This time, there was no way India could have skipped Ukraine vote’

NEW DELHI: India voted on Wednesday against Russia’s proposal to prevent Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy from addressing the UNSC remotely. According to sources, Russia had not objected to Zelenskyy speaking earlier and that it was only on this occasion that it tried to block his virtual address and sought a vote on it.
“This was the first vote of its kind and there was no way India could not go with the US and others as Zelenskyy had spoken earlier too,” said a source.
Despite pressure from the West to do so, India has so far not condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine and has also abstained from voting on resolutions blaming Moscow for the conflict.
On August 24, the UNSC held a meeting to take stock of the now six-month-old conflict on the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.
As the meeting began, Russian ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia requested a procedural vote concerning the Ukrainian President’s participation in the meeting by video conference. Following statements by him and Ferit Hoxha of Albania, the UNHC extended an invitation to Zelenskyy to participate in the meeting via video conference by a vote of 13 in favour to one against. Russia voted against such an invitation, while China abstained.
Nebenzia insisted that Russia does not oppose Zelensky’s participation, but such participation must be in-person. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the council decided to work virtually, but such meetings were informal and, after the pandemic’s peak, the council returned to the provisional rules of procedure, he argued.

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