At UNGA, India votes to reject Russia’s request for secret ballot on Ukraine draft resolution

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India has voted to reject Russia’s request for a secret ballot at the UN General Assembly on a draft resolution condemning Moscow’s “illegal” annexation of four regions of Ukraine, with New Delhi favoring a public vote on the text with more than 100 other nations.

The 193-member UN General Assembly voted on a motion by Albania on Monday to follow up on the draft resolution condemning the ‘so-called illegal referendums’ and the ‘illegal annexation attempt’ of the regions from Donetsk, Kherson, Lugansk and Zaporizhzhia. Ukraine be taken by recorded vote.

Russia had demanded that the resolution be passed by secret ballot.

Moscow’s request for a secret ballot was rejected after 107 UN member states, including India, voted in favor of a recorded vote.

Only 13 countries voted in favor of Russia’s call for a secret ballot while 39 abstained. Russia and China were among the countries that did not vote.

After the adoption of the recorded vote motion, Russia appealed the decision of the president of the general assembly.

A recorded vote on Russia’s appeal was held and India was among 100 nations that voted against Moscow’s challenge.

Russia then requested reconsideration of the decision to adopt the motion submitted by Albania for a recorded vote.

The General Assembly decided not to reconsider the motion after 104 nations, including India, voted against such a reconsideration, while 16 voted in favor and 34 abstained.

Russia’s permanent representative, Vassily Nebenzia, said UN members had “become witnesses to an outrageous fraud in which the president of the general assembly, unfortunately, played a key role.”

“We were not given the floor to make a point of order (our seat light is still on), our statement was twisted, and now UN Member States are deprived of their right to freely express their opinion.

“This is an unprecedented manipulation that undermines the authority of the General Assembly and the United Nations as a whole. Of course, in such circumstances, we chose not to participate in the vote,” he said.

India abstained last month while Russia vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution tabled by the US and Albania condemning Moscow’s ‘illegal referendums’ and declared invalid the annexation of four Ukrainian territories.

The UN Security Council, made up of 15 nations, had passed the draft resolution on the “so-called illegal referendums in Ukraine”, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a ceremony at the Kremlin, had signed treaties to annex the Ukrainian regions of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson. , and Zaporizhzhia.

The resolution was not adopted because Russia, a permanent member of the UNSC, vetoed it.

On the advice of 15 countries, 10 countries voted for the resolution and China, Gabon, India and Brazil abstained.

Following Russia’s veto, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield pledged to continue United Nations accountability in the General Assembly, where each country has one vote.

UN General Assembly President Csaba Korosi reconvened the emergency special session on Ukraine, where a senior US administration official said the European Union, on behalf of a group cross-regional drafting committee of several dozen UN member states, was working on a resolution to be presented to the assembly and considered at the emergency special session to condemn Russia’s actions as a flagrant violation of the Charter of United Nations and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The draft resolution would repeat the demand that Russia withdraw its forces from Ukraine and the internationally recognized borders of that war-torn country and end its unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine.

The resolution would also call on all states, international organizations and United Nations specialized agencies not to recognize any changes by Russia to the status of any or all of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk or Zaporizhzhia, and to refrain from any action or transaction that could be construed as acknowledging such altered status.

The action in the UNGA came hours after Russia carried out strikes against several Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, where at least 10 people were killed and around 60 others injured across Ukraine.

In New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said escalation of hostilities was in no one’s interest and noted that India stood ready to support all such efforts aimed at defuse the situation.

“India is deeply concerned about the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, including the targeting of infrastructure and the death of civilians,” he said, calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

India has yet to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has argued that the crisis should be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

India abstained in votes on the Ukraine conflict in the UN General Assembly and Security Council.

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