India’s Silence On Ukraine Crisis A Pity: Shashi Tharoor


Russia-Ukraine crisis: Shashi Tharoor said it’s a pity that India has gone silent. (File)

New Delhi:

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor accused the government of going silent on the matter in the aftermath of the Russian military operation in Ukraine and said that “it is a pity.”

Speaking to news agency ANI, Mr Tharoor said, “Russia is a friend and there could be some legitimate security concerns but for India to go suddenly silent on it will be seen as a disappointment by Ukraine and its friends. It’s a pity that India has gone silent.”

He further said that India has consistently upheld these principles — the inviolability of sovereign borders and the inadmissibility of change through force and violence that countries are not supposed to go and achieve their objectives by invading other countries.

That’s why diplomacy was invented and the importance of establishing the principle that no country has to right to conduct regime change in another country, he said.

Mr Tharoor, who formerly served as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs from 2014 to 2019, said, “It does not reflect well when a country like India who aspires for UN Security Council seat goes completely silent on internationally recognised principles.”

Mr Tharoor also said that Ukraine’s request to India to intervene in the matter is “completely understandable.”

“Our stand has been that we do not support invading other countries and regime change through violence and war,” he added.

The Congress MP also said, “We have carefully chosen not to blame anyone and we have carefully chosen to say nothing either about an invasion or an attack or to point any fingers at Russia.”

“A de-escalation implies that there are two sides fighting and you want them both to calm down. But in this case, that is not the reality. The reality is that one side has attacked another, had sent troops from one country to another. This is not the situation where we can request both sides to de-esclate. We have to ask the Russian to stop what they are doing. We have to remind the Russian that they are violating the principles that matter to us,” the Congress MP noted.

Speaking on Indians stranded in Ukraine, he said, that there are 24,000 students from India of whom 2,300 are from Kerala.

“I have too received messages for intervention. Since air-space is closed, there is no practical way to fly them back to the country,” he added.

On India’s neighbour China, with which we have held several stand offs at borders, Mr Tharoor said, “If the Chinese march into our country we would want other countries to stand up for us. If Ukraine expects us to speak to Russians, then at least we should try and be counted on the right side of the issue.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday recognized Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities escalating the ongoing tensions between the two countries. Ukraine gained independence in 1991 after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Putin on Thursday said that special military operations are being launched “to protect” the people in the Donbas region. He also warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences”.

Leaders from a number of countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia’s military operations in the Donbas region.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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