India’s stand on the Ukraine war is tragic
- The world has witnessed the unbridled destruction of a democratic nation, Ukraine, by a heavily armed, nuclear weapons power and veto-holding Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, viz., Russia.
- The bare fact is that Ukraine, a recognised nation and United Nations member-state, has been invaded by a Permanent Member of the apex Security Council, violating the UN Charter.
- India cannot crawl for the goodwill of Russia. But at the very least, India must condemn Russia for its aggression and illegal invasion.
The ICJ’s wrap
- After hearings held recently, the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) directed Russia to halt the war immediately, stating that the ICJ “is profoundly concerned by Moscow’s use of force in violation of international law”.
- The Indian judge on the ICJ and a former Supreme Court of India judge, Justice Dalveer Bhandari, also voted against Russia despite the government’s votes of abstention on other international forums on the same issue.
- The Ministry of External Affairs promptly disowned Justice Bhandari’s vote, with a spokesperson saying that judges at the ICJ “vote in their individual capacity”.
A damaging stance
- The most deplorable examples of human rights atrocities in the 21st century — which is being carried out by the Russian military — have also exposed the UN and the Security Council for their ineffectiveness.
- Obviously, the UN needs a restructuring after its past of almost 80 years of existence — and one of mostly helplessness.
- Combined with its abstention votes at the UN, India, by its reticence to take a stand for democracy, has not only affected its relations with the democratic nations of the West but also caused consternation among its Quad partners (i.e., the United States, Australia and Japan).
- The flip flops on Afghanistan, Nepal, BRICS, the Quad, Iran, and now on the Ukraine war launched by Russia, have devalued India’s reputation to levels well below its ‘military strike hard power’ and ‘huge population soft power’.
The BRICS resolution
- "Ukraine’s situation, India’s national interest", in the BRICS meet in 2021 in New Delhi with leaders of five nations present, viz., India, China, Russia, South Africa and Brazil, India had moved a resolution that was passed unanimously in its New Delhi Declaration (paragraph 22 in the XIII BRICS Summit, September 9, 2021).
- The core demand in this resolution was that the five BRICS nations were opposed to the unilateral use of force against any state, wanted all disputes resolved by peaceful means, and categorically ruled out the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.
- In 1994, Ukraine signed the Budapest Memorandum with Russia, the U.S., and the United Kingdom. According to the Memorandum, these three veto-holding permanent members of the UNSC agreed to respect the “independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and existing borders of Ukraine”.
- But Russia has now welched on this treaty commitment since March 2014 when it annexed a part of Ukraine, viz., Crimea.