India cast its first anti-Russian vote on Wednesday during a “procedural vote” on Ukraine at the 15-member, influential UN Security Council, which invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to address a meeting via video teleconference.
After the Russian military intervention started in February, India has never before voted against Russia on the topic of Ukraine. New Delhi has so far refrained from voting on Ukraine in the UN Security Council, much to the chagrin of the Western nations led by the United States.
Following the aggression, Western countries, particularly the US, sanctioned Russia severely on the economic and other fronts.
Russia’s actions towards Ukraine has not received criticism from India. The Russian and Ukrainian sides have been urged to resume the path of diplomacy and negotiation on numerous occasions, and New Delhi has reaffirmed its support for all diplomatic attempts to put an end to the crisis between the two nations.
India has a two-year non-permanent membership in the UNSC that expires in December.
On the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, the UNSC convened a meeting on Wednesday to review the conflict, which has been going on for six months.
Vassily A. Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the UN, asked for a procedural vote to approve the Ukrainian president’s attendance in the meeting via video teleconference as the meeting got underway.
By a vote of 13 in favour to 1 against, the Council invited Zelensky to take part in the meeting via video teleconference after remarks from him and Ferit Hoxha of Albania. China abstained, and Russia voted against the invitation.
Nebenzia maintained that Zelensky’s participation must be in person and that Russia does not object to it. He claimed that although the Council decided to conduct virtual sessions during the COVID-19 epidemic and return to the temporary rules of procedure after the pandemic’s height, these meetings were informal.
He requested a procedural vote on this topic, stating once more that his country’s opposition primarily relates to the President’s participation via video teleconference. India and 12 other countries disagreed with this request and sided with Zelensky.