Hope for peaceful resolution through diplomacy: India on Ukraine tensionstext_fields
New Delhi: India's External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that India was hoping for a "peaceful resolution" to the Ukraine-Russia border issue and that sustained "diplomatic efforts" would have to be maintained in order to prevent tensions escalating.
"We call for a peaceful resolution of the situation through sustained diplomatic efforts for long-term peace and stability in the region and beyond," Bagchi said in response to a question on the crisis in Ukraine during a weekly virtual media briefing. This is one of the first official reactions from India on the issue, which has stymied international relations between the West and Russia since last year.
"We have been closely following the developments relating to Ukraine, including ongoing high-level discussions between Russia and the US. Our embassy in Kyiv is also monitoring local developments," he said.
The comments by one of India's government spokespersons come at a time when the US is standing firm behind their suspicions that the 100,000 troops gathered by Russia on Ukraine's browsers will be used as an invasion force. Moscow has rubbished the allegations.
The Indian embassy in Kyiv has asked all Indian nationals in Ukraine, including students, to register themselves with the mission by January 31 so that there can be effective coordination and swift dissemination of information. The mission also asked Indian nationals to follow the embassy's website and Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates.
According to the embassy's website, there are about 18,000 Indian students studying medicine and engineering in Ukrainian universities and a small Indian business community in Kyiv.
Indian foreign secretary Harsh Shringla and US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman held an extended teleconference on a range of global and bilateral issues last week. US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price revealed that there had been discussions on the concerning build-up of Russian troops on Ukraine's borders, although no confirmation was issued on this by the Indian government.
For India, which enjoys a close strategic partnership with both US and Russia, the renewed tension between the two countries has been a matter of concern. This is particularly so at a time when New Delhi is hoping that the Joe Biden administration would waive off sanctions that would otherwise apply to India under the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act for its acquisition of S-400 missile systems from Russia.