External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Monday that the Ukraine conflict does not serve the interests of anybody, as he stressed that India was against such hostilities as it can have a "very profound impact" on everybody across the world.
During a joint press meet with his Australian counterpart Penny Wong here, Mr. Jaishankar also declined to predict India's vote in advance on the upcoming draft resolution against Russia in the U.N General Assembly.
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"As a matter of prudence and policy, we don't predict our votes in advance… We have been very clearly against the conflict in Ukraine,” the Minister said when asked about India’s stance during the upcoming U.N. General Assembly debate about not recognising the recent annexation of four Ukrainian territories by Russia.
"We believe that this conflict does not serve the interests of anybody neither the participants nor indeed of the international community. And as a country of the Global South, we have been seeing first-hand how much it has impacted low-income countries, the challenges that they are facing in terms of fuel and food and fertilisers.
"So, my Prime Minister said a few weeks ago at a summit contact, "this is not an era of war". And, you know, a conflict today in some corner of the world can have a very profound impact on everybody across the world. And I think that continues to guide our thinking," said Mr. Jaishankar, who arrived in Canberra on Sunday from Wellington in New Zealand.
Russia President Vladimir Putin recently signed treaties to annex the four regions of Ukraine, saying they were now part of his country and would be defended by Moscow.
India had abstained on a draft resolution tabled in the U.N. Security Council earlier this month which condemned Russia’s "illegal referenda" and annexation of four Ukrainian territories and called for an immediate cessation of violence while underlining the need to find pathways for a return to the negotiating table.
India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said reiterated Canberra's condemnation of Russia's invasion and said that the annexations, so-called sham annexations, or sham referenda, are illegal.