Boris seeks coalition against Putin, including India


PM’s spokesperson at 10 Downing Street said that a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be expected in the coming days, reports Asian Lite News

Britain on Wednesday called for the “broadest possible coalition” against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine, which includes India.

Boris Johnson’s spokesperson at 10 Downing Street told that a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be expected in the coming days, as the British Prime Minister reaches out to world leaders to seek universal condemnation of Putin’s attacks on Ukrainian cities.

“We want to secure the broadest possible coalition against the actions that Putin is taking,” the spokesperson said, in response to a question about the UK’s message for India over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

“The Prime Minister has been speaking to a lot of world leaders to that end We expect him to be doing a lot of leaders calls in the coming days. We haven’t locked down timings for each of those,” the spokesperson said.

Referring to a United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Russia’s actions to be voted upon by all member countries later on Wednesday, the PM’s spokesperson said Britain’s aim was that all countries unite in sending the clearest possible message to the Russian President.

We would hope and expect that all countries could agree that invading a democratically elected country, with no provocation, bombing innocent men, women and children is something to be abhorred and condemned. We will continue to petition everyone to that end, the spokesperson said.

The draft of the UN General Assembly resolution demands that the Russian Federation immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

While such resolutions are non-binding, they are used to mount political pressure on countries.

At a similar UN Security Council resolution vote vetoed by Russia last week, India had abstained and called for a return to the path of diplomacy and cessation of violence.

Downing Street confirmed that the timetable for the India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) talks scheduled for the second round of negotiations between officials from both sides next week remains on track.

Meanwhile, India on Wednesday abstained on a UN General Assembly resolution that strongly deplored Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the third abstention in less than a week by the country in the world body on resolutions on the escalating crisis between Moscow and Kyiv.

The 193-member General Assembly Wednesday voted to reaffirm its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and “deplores in the strongest terms” Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

The resolution was adopted with 141 votes in favour, five Member States voting against and 35 abstentions. The General Assembly broke into an applause as the resolution was adopted.

The resolution required a 2/3 majority to be adopted in the General Assembly.

The resolution also condemned Russia’s decision to increase the readiness of its nuclear forces and deplores the involvement of Belarus in this “unlawful use” of force against Ukraine, and calls upon it to abide by its international obligations.

The resolution urges the immediate peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine through political dialogue, negotiations, mediation and other peaceful means.

Nearly 100 UN Member States co-sponsored the resolution titled ‘Aggression Against Ukraine’, including Afghanistan, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Kuwait, Singapore, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The UNGA resolution was similar to the one circulated in the 15-nation Security Council last Friday, on which also India had abstained. The UNSC resolution, which received 11 votes in favour and three abstentions, was blocked after permanent member Russia exercised its veto.

Following the failure of the Council to adopt the resolution, the Security Council voted on Sunday again to convene a rare “emergency special session” of the 193-member General Assembly on the crisis. India again abstained on this resolution, reiterating that “there is no other choice but to return back to the path of diplomacy and dialogue.”

The procedural resolution Sunday was adopted even though Moscow voted against it and the General Assembly then held a rare emergency special session on the Ukraine crisis Monday.

President of the 76th session of the General Assembly Abdulla Shahid presided over the unprecedented session, only the 11th such emergency session of the General Assembly since 1950. With the adoption of the UNSC resolution Sunday, it was for the first time in 40 years that the Council decided to call for an emergency special session in the General Assembly.

The resolution demanded that Russia immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine and refrain from any further unlawful threat or use of force against any UN member state.

The resolution, condemning the February 24 declaration by Russia of a “special military operation” in Ukraine, demanded that Moscow “immediately, completely, and unconditionally” withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”

The resolution also deplores the February 21 decision by Russia related to the status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter and demands that Russia immediately and unconditionally reverse the decision related to the status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.

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