India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti on Friday told the Netherlands’ Ambassador to Britain: “Please don’t patronize us”, New Delhi “knows what to do” as the Dutch envoy said India had not abstained May UN General Assembly on Ukraine.
“Please don’t patronize us, Ambassador. We know what needs to be done,” Tirumurti said in response to a tweet from the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Karel van Oosterom. In the tweet, the Dutch envoy previously told Tirumurti: “You shouldn’t have abstained at the General Assembly. Respect the UN Charter.” The Dutch envoy’s tweet was later deleted.
Former Indian PR staffer Syed Akbaruddin tweeted the Dutch envoy asking if this was a new form of “imperious diplomacy”. “Do not all primers teach that post-colonial diplomacy begins with respect for sovereign decisions, particularly when voting at the United Nations. Time to get back to basics of diplomatic practice,” suggested Akbaruddin.
The Dutch envoys had questioned India’s stance following Tirumurti’s recent UN Security Council statement on Ukraine, which reaffirmed India’s position on the issue and outlined concerns about energy and food security as a result of the conflict.
Since January this year, India has abstained on procedural votes and draft resolutions in the UN Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council deploring Russian aggression against Ukraine.
In April, India abstained from a US-requested vote at the UN General Assembly to ban Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over allegations that Russian soldiers had killed civilians while withdrawing from towns near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
In March, India abstained on a resolution by Ukraine and its allies at the UN General Assembly on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, saying the focus should be on a cessation of hostilities and urgent humanitarian assistance and that the draft did not fully live up to expectations New Delhi focus on these challenges.
On March 2, the General Assembly voted to reaffirm its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and strongly deplored Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
India, along with 34 other nations, abstained on the resolution, which passed with 141 votes in favor and five against from member states.
India has disagreements with the West over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and this was made clear not only in the foreign minister’s recent remarks, but also earlier this week during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Europe. While the three nations’ European tour produced concrete results in strategic and economic areas, India has refrained from condemning Russia.
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