India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar made an implicit criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and distanced India that India is “on the side that respects the Charter of United Nations and its founding principles”.
“As the conflict in Ukraine continues to rage, we are often asked which side we are on. And our answer, every time, is straightforward and honest. India is and will remain firmly on the side of peace.” Jaishankar added on Saturday.
But adding clarity, he said: “We are on the side that respects the Charter of the United Nations and its founding principles.”
His speech at the UN General Assembly was closely watched by diplomats for any change in India’s public stance on Ukraine after Prime Minister Narendra Modi bluntly told Russian President Vladimir Putin, that “this cannot be a time of war” and reiterated that dialogue and diplomacy are the way forward.
By saying that India is on the side that “respects the United Nations Charter that prohibits war, he put India on the side that is not Russia’s, and diplomatically, if cryptically, avoided having to name Moscow while making the position public.
Taking up the cause of developing countries that have been hit hard by food shortages and rising energy prices due to war, Jaishankar said, “We stand with those who are struggling to make ends meet, even as they look at rising food, fuel and fertilizer costs.”
“Therefore, it is in our collective interest to work constructively, both within the UN and outside, to find a quick solution to this conflict,” he added.