United Nations/New Delhi: As Russia authorised special military operations in Ukraine’s Donbas, India at the UN Security Council on Thursday called for immediate de-escalation and refraining from any further action that could contribute to a worsening of the situation.
India’s Permanent Representative at the UN, TS Tirumurti, addressing an emergency UN Security Council meeting, expressed “deep concern over the developments, which if not handled carefully, may well undermine the peace and security of the region”.
He said that when the Security Council had met two days ago India had called for urgent deescalation of tensions and emphasised on sustained and focused diplomacy to address all issues concerning the situation.
“We note with regret that the calls of the international community to give time to the recent initiatives undertaken by parties to defuse tensions were not heeded.” India also called on all parties to exert greater efforts to bridge divergent interests.
“The legitimate security interests of all parties should be fully taken into account,” Tirumurti said.
“There is need for peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law and with agreements entered into by parties concerned.” He said that more than 20,000 Indian nationals, including students, are located in different parts of Ukraine, including in border areas.
“We are facilitating the return of all Indian nationals, including Indian students, as required.” India said the solution lies in sustained diplomatic dialogue between the concerned parties. “We strongly emphasise the vital need for all sides to maintain international peace and security by exercising the utmost restraint,” he said.
The second UNSC emergency sitting came as Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will conduct a military operation in eastern Ukraine, claiming it is intended to protect civilians. In a televised address, Putin said the action comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine. He warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen”.
Putin said Russia doesn’t have a goal to occupy Ukraine, and that the responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian “regime”. He also accused the US and its allies of ignoring Russia’s demand to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and offer Moscow security guarantees.
Meanwhile, explosions were heard in Ukraine on Thursday morning. US President Joe Biden on Thursday accused Russia of choosing “a premeditated war” and said the US and its allies “will respond in a united and decisive way” and the “world will hold Russia accountable”.
In a statement, Biden said he will be monitoring the situation and tomorrow he will meet with his G7 counterparts and also address the US people “to announce the further consequences” to be imposed Russia for the “needless act of aggression”.