UNGA asks Russia to Pull Back Troops

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted 141-5 (35 abstentions) to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling upon Moscow to unconditionally withdraw its troops. The voting was convened after representatives, from across the world, made remarks over two days at a special emergency session of the UNGA and a similar resolution failed to pass the UN Security Council (UNSC).

The resolution passed in UNGA, was co-sponsored by 96 countries. It condemns the February 24 “special military operation” by Russia. It says no territories acquired through force will be recognised and calls for Russia to “immediately, completely and unconditionally” withdraw from Ukraine.

It is important to note that India again abstained from voting after doing the same in UNSC. In his vote statement, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, T. S. Tirumurti said, “safe and uninterrupted passage” of Indian nationals, was India’s “foremost priority”. He also said that India hoped the second round of talks between Russia and Ukraine would yield positive results.

Russia’s actions have left India in an uncomfortable position. India’s neighbors, are also wary of the implications of not condemning a country, which is unilaterally attempting to change the borders it shares with another. Nonetheless, “India urges that all Member States demonstrate their commitment to the principles of the UN Charter, to international law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states”.

While Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates and Myanmar voted in favour of the resolution, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and China like India, abstained.

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