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India’s position on Russia-Ukraine conflict steadfast and consistent: Prez Kovind

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Ashgabat, Apr 03: India's position on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has been steadfast and consistent, President Ram Nath Kovind has said, emphasising that the current global order is anchored in international law, UN Charter, and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of states.

Ram Nath Kovind

Unlike many other leading powers, India has not yet criticised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and it abstained from the votes at the UN platforms in condemning the Russian aggression.

India has been pressing for the resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue.

Interacting with young students at the prestigious Institute of International Relations here on Saturday, President Kovind said that India is deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

"India's position on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has been steadfast and consistent," he said.

"We have emphasised that the current global order is anchored in international law, the UN Charter, and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of states.

"We are deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation. We have called for immediate cessation of violence and hostilities and return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy. We have also provided humanitarian assistance to Ukraine," Kovind said.

His comments came in the backdrop of increasing disquiet in the West over India not criticising Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and abstaining from the votes at the UN Security Council.

Last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Parliament that India's position on the Ukraine conflict has been "steadfast and consistent" and that it has been seeking immediate cessation of violence.

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that India stands ready to contribute in any way to the peace efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine and called for early cessation of violence in that country.

Russia has been India's major supplier of military hardware and New Delhi has been worried about possible delays in the supply of some key platforms and equipment because of the Ukraine conflict.

India has also decided to purchase discounted crude oil from Russia, triggering concern among a number of Western powers.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said around two weeks back that India taking the Russian offer of discounted crude oil would not be a violation of the US sanctions on Moscow but underlined that countries should also think about "where you want to stand" on the Russian action.

More than 2.5 million people are estimated to have fled Ukraine to escape Russian attacks, in what the United Nations has called the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.

On March 23, India abstained in the UN Security Council on a vote on a draft resolution by Russia on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine on Wednesday.

India had previously abstained on two occasions in the Security Council and once in the General Assembly on resolutions on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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