Expressing concern over the food, fuel and fertilizer crises caused by the conflict, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday that India is on the side of the peace in the Russian-Ukrainian war and will remain there firmly. .
He also tacitly denounced China for shielding Pakistan-based terrorists from United Nations sanctions.
“The UN responds to terrorism by punishing its perpetrators. Those who politicize the UNSC 1267 sanctions regime, sometimes even to the point of defending proclaimed terrorists, do so at their peril. Believe me, they are not advancing their own interests or even their reputation,” Jaishankar said, adding, “Having borne the brunt of cross-border terrorism for decades, India strongly advocates a ‘zero tolerance’ approach.
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“As the conflict in Ukraine continues to rage, we are often asked which side we are on. And, our response, every time, is frank and honest. India is on the side of peace and will stay there firmly,” the foreign minister said. “We are on the side that respects the Charter of the United Nations and its founding principles,” he added.
He represented the Government of India in the high-level segment of the General Debate of the UNGA. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not travel to New York this year to attend the 77th session of the UNGA.
Jaishankar reiterated New Delhi’s call for dialogue and diplomacy, saying it was the only way to end the conflict. “We are on the side of those struggling to make ends meet, even as they face escalating costs for food, fuel and fertilizer.”
He and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a meeting at UN headquarters in New York just before they both addressed the UNGA.
In recent months, New Delhi has drawn the ire of the United States and other Western countries, not only for refusing to join them in condemning Russia for its aggression against Ukraine – mainly because of its decades-old strategic partnership and dependence on Ukraine. former Soviet Union nation for military equipment. India is also circumventing sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western countries on Russia and pursuing bilateral trade. He also increased oil and coal imports from Russia.
Modi recently held a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. “Today’s era is not one of war,” the prime minister told the Russian president during the meeting.
The Prime Minister’s appeal to the Russian President has been welcomed by the media and governments of Western countries.
“We believe and defend that this is not an era of war or conflict. On the contrary, this is the time for development and cooperation,” Jaishankar reiterated, addressing the UNGA on Saturday.
He discussed India’s supply of Covid-19 vaccines and its development aid to other countries.
“Even as we achieve our own development goals, India offers partnerships to our brothers and sisters in Asia, Africa and Latin America. And we do, depending on their needs and priorities,” he said, tacitly pointing out the difference between development aid given by New Delhi and Beijing to other nations.
China has been criticized for its predatory lending practices that put several small countries in a debt trap.