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‘We know what to do,’ India’s sharp response to Dutch envoy over Ukraine stance

India has abstained from several resolutions adopted in the United Nations over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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New Delhi: India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador T S Tirumurti, shushed a Dutch envoy Thursday for being critical of India’s stance on Ukraine at the world forum.

After Tirumurti had tweeted a transcript of his statement at the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine, Dutch envoy to the UK Karel van Oosterom responded: “You should not have abstained in the GA. Respect the UN Charter.”

Tirumurti’s repartee was sharp. “Kindly don’t patronize us Ambassador. We know what to do,” the diplomat said.

Earlier, India had reiterated its stance at the Security Council meeting on 4 May, and said that peace must be restored through dialogue and diplomacy, but had again abstained from voting against Russia.

In his speech, Ambassador Tirumurti had said: “India remains on the side of peace and therefore believes that there will be no winning side in this conflict and while those impacted by this conflict will continue to suffer, diplomacy will be a lasting casualty.”

Following the 24 February military operations which Russian forces launched in Ukraine to supposedly ‘denazify’ the country, India has continued to abstain on procedural votes and resolutions in the United Nations’ Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council which denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On 2 March, the UNGA had voted to assert its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its recognised borders.

India, along with 34 other nations, had abstained, but the resolution was adopted with 141 votes in favour and five votes against it.

In April, India once again abstained from a vote moved by the US to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council — which was brought in over allegations of civilian killings by Russian forces as they retreated from suburbs near Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

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