India on Wednesday abstained on a UN General Assembly resolution that strongly deplored Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the third abstention in less than a week by the country in the world body on resolutions on the escalating crisis between Moscow and Kyiv.
The 193-member General Assembly Wednesday voted to reaffirm its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and "deplores in the strongest terms" Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
The resolution was adopted with 141 votes in favour, five Member States voting against and 35 abstentions. The General Assembly broke into an applause as the resolution was adopted.
The resolution required a 2/3 majority to be adopted in the General Assembly.
The resolution also condemned Russia's decision to increase the readiness of its nuclear forces and deplores the involvement of Belarus in this "unlawful use" of force against Ukraine, and calls upon it to abide by its international obligations.
The resolution urges the immediate peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine through political dialogue, negotiations, mediation and other peaceful means.
Nearly 100 UN Member States co-sponsored the resolution titled 'Aggression Against Ukraine', including Afghanistan, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Kuwait, Singapore, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The UNGA resolution was similar to the one circulated in the 15-nation Security Council last Friday, on which also India had abstained. The UNSC resolution, which received 11 votes in favour and three abstentions, was blocked after permanent member Russia exercised its veto.
Following the failure of the Council to adopt the resolution, the Security Council voted on Sunday again to convene a rare "emergency special session" of the 193-member General Assembly on the crisis. India again abstained on this resolution, reiterating that "there is no other choice but to return back to the path of diplomacy and dialogue."
The procedural resolution Sunday was adopted even though Moscow voted against it and the General Assembly then held a rare emergency special session on the Ukraine crisis Monday.
President of the 76th session of the General Assembly Abdulla Shahid presided over the unprecedented session, only the 11th such emergency session of the General Assembly since 1950. With the adoption of the UNSC resolution Sunday, it was for the first time in 40 years that the Council decided to call for an emergency special session in the General Assembly.
The resolution demanded that Russia immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine and refrain from any further unlawful threat or use of force against any UN member state.
The resolution, condemning the February 24 declaration by Russia of a "special military operation" in Ukraine, demanded that Moscow "immediately, completely, and unconditionally" withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders."
The resolution also deplores the February 21 decision by Russia related to the status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter and demands that Russia immediately and unconditionally reverse the decision related to the status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
It also called upon the parties to abide by the Minsk agreements and to work constructively in relevant international frameworks, including in the Normandy format and Trilateral Contact Group, towards their full implementation.
While a UNSC resolution condemning Russian invasion of Ukraine would have been legally binding and General Assembly resolutions are not, vote in the 193-member UN body is symbolic of world opinion on the crisis and carry political weight as they represent the will of the entire UN membership.
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