Asserting that India is strongly against the Russia-Ukraine conflict, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said if New Delhi has chosen a side, it is the side of peace and for an immediate end to violence.
Replying to the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the situation in Ukraine, Jaishankar said all members would agree that India’s approach should be guided by its national beliefs and values, national interest and by its national strategy.
Jaishankar also said no one has ever evacuated its citizens on such a large scale. On Operation Ganga, he said that it was the most challenging evacuation carried out by India and is inspiring other countries.
“Had the four Union ministers not gone to countries neighbouring Ukraine, India would not have got the same level of cooperation,” Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi led from the front, conducting meetings and supervising the situation when he was campaigning for elections.
Elaborating on what India is advocating in Ukraine, Jaishankar said, “We are strongly against the conflict, we believe that no solution can be arrived at by shedding blood and at the cost of innocent lives. In this day and age, dialogue and diplomacy are the right answers to any disputes.”
One should bear in mind that the contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, on respect for international law and for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states, he asserted.
“If India has chosen a side, it is a side of peace and it is for an immediate end to violence. This is our principled stand and has consistently guided our position in international forums and debates, including in the UN,” Jaishankar said.
Talking about the civilian killings in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, Jaishankar said India is “deeply disturbed” by the reports.
“We strongly condemn the killings that have taken place there. This is an extremely serious matter and we support the call for an independent investigation,” he said.
Jaishankar also said that attributing a political colour to Indias actions vis-a-vis the Ukraine situation was unfortunate.
(With Agency inputs)