India is strongly against the conflict in Ukraine escalating, union minister for external affairs, S Jaishankar told the Lok Sabha today, replying to a debate on that country’s ongoing war with Russia, stopping short of criticising Russia for the conflict. Responding to the questions on India’s stand, Jaishankar said, “We are, first and foremost, strongly against the conflict. We believe no solution can be arrived at by shedding blood and at the cost of innocent lives.” The foreign minister also said, “In this day and age, dialogue and diplomacy are the right answers to any disputes.”
Jaishankar said, “New Delhi continues to press forcefully for an immediate cessation of hostilities and an end to violence.” “We encourage talks between Ukraine and Russia, including at the level of their presidents. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to both of them in this regard,” Jaishankar said.
Yesterday, the Lok Sabha members took the ongoing war in between Russia and Ukraine for debate. During the debate, the opposition leaders raised the issue of relevance of principles of non-alignment in the complex geopolitical situation created by the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
Four union ministers, namely Hardeep Singh Puri, Kiren Rijiju, Jyotiraditya Scindia and General VK Singh, who went to countries bordering Ukraine as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special envoys to help evacuate over 22,000 Indians stranded in the eastern European nation, participated in the discourse.
After months of build up, Russia launched a full-blown invasion in Ukraine on 24 February. Ever since, India has maintained a neutral stand and has refrained from criticising Russia, an old ally of New Delhi, for carrying out the brutal offensive.
India abstained on all Ukraine-related votes at UN bodies. It also distanced itself from the West’s call for global isolation of Russia to punish it for the invasion.
Moscow has demanded that pro-European Union Kyiv maintain neutrality and has also been asked Kyiv to renounce its demand to join Nato, a military alliance of Western countries.
Living under the shadow of Russia, Ukraine has long expressed its wish to join Nato to protect itself from aggression from any nation. However, with Russian forces waging a brutal attack on key Ukrainian cities and, according to Ukraine officials, on civilian populations too, Kyiv has agreed to give up claims to join Nato.