'Don't Patronise Us': India Rebuffs Dutch Envoy Who Questioned Delhi's Abstention at UN on Ukraine
08:38 GMT 06.05.2022 (Updated: 11:44 GMT 09.02.2023)
© AP Photo / John MinchilloT. S. Tirumurti, permanent representative of India to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting of the Security Council, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, at United Nations Headquarters
© AP Photo / John Minchillo
The crisis in Ukraine emerged as a major talking point between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his European counterparts during his three-nation visit to Germany, Denmark and France this week.
India's Permanent Representative at the United Nations (UN) T.S. Tirumurti has hit out at a Dutch diplomat who suggested that New Delhi shouldn’t have abstained from casting its vote in the General Assembly on matters pertaining to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
“Kindly don’t patronise us, Ambassador. We know what to do,” Tirumurti responded to an apparent barb by Karel van Oosterom, the Netherlands’ Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
The response came after the Dutch envoy responded to a social media post by Tirumurti, in which the Indian Permanent Representative had shared his statement at the UNSC debate on Ukraine on Thursday.
“You should not have abstained in the GA. Respect the UN Charter,” van Oosterom had remarked.
New Delhi has regularly abstained from voting on draft resolutions and procedural votes at the UN General Assembly and the Security Council since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the special military operation to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" Ukraine on 24 February.
India’s stance at the UN has been in line with its neutral stance that it has taken on the Ukraine issue, much to the chagrin of its American and European partners, who have consistently tried to draw New Delhi into the anti-Russia, Western camp.
On 7 April, New Delhi abstained from voting on a resolution calling to suspend Russia from the UN Human Right Council (UNHRC) in the wake of surfacing of footage of dead bodies in Bucha, a suburb of Kiev.
While Western countries have blamed Russia for the “massacre”, President Putin has said that the incident was “staged” by Kiev authorities.
12 April 2022, 13:11 GMT
The resolution was eventually passed at the UNGA, leading to Moscow’s ouster from the UNHRC.
New Delhi, for its part, “condemned” the incident and called for an “independent” probe into the killings.
Then, on 2 March, New Delhi abstained from a draft resolution which “deplored in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine in violation of Article 2 (4) of the Charter”.
On 24 March, India abstained from another resolution which blamed Moscow for the “dire” humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
While New Delhi has refused to pick sides in the conflict in Ukraine, the South Asian nation has consistently called for “cessation of hostilities” and the need for a direct dialogue between Presidents Putin and Vladimir Zelensky.
‘India Remains on the Side of Peace’, Envoy Tells UNSC
At the UNSC debate on Ukraine on Thursday, Ambassador Tirumurti reiterated New Delhi’s stance about the need to put an “immediate end” to the hostilities in Ukraine and return to the “path of diplomacy”.
#IndiainUNSC— India at UN, NY (@IndiaUNNewYork) May 5, 2022
📺Watch: Permanent Representative @AmbTSTirumurti speak at the #UNSC Briefing on the situation in #Ukraine ⤵️@MEAIndia @IndiainUkraine @IndEmbMoscow pic.twitter.com/KZ6lj3MPdu
“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,” the Indian diplomat said in his statement.
Tirumurti also spelled out New Delhi’s concerns about the “destabilising” effects of the Ukraine conflict on global oil prices as well as a “shortage” of grain and fertiliser.
“This has had a disproportionate impact on the Global South and developing countries,” he stated.
“Let me conclude by reaffirming that the contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states,” Tirumurti concluded.