Russia: ‘India abstained in UN vote on Russian invasion of Ukraine due to various considerations’
India abstained on the U.S.-sponsored UN Security Council resolution in February that “deplored in the strongest terms” Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine, New Delhi claiming that dialogue is the only answer to settle disputes and disputes.
The resolution did not pass as Russia’s permanent member and Security Council President for February used its veto.
“India, China, Vietnam and Laos abstained from voting on the UN resolution deploring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for various reasons. India, for example, is buying military equipment to Russia,” Lee said in Mandarin during an annual address to the citizens of Singapore. .
He says that being the smallest nation in ASEAN, Singapore’s interests and considerations are naturally different from others.
“That’s why Singapore not only explicitly condemned the Russian invasion, but also went further by imposing our own targeted sanctions on Russia,” he said.
Lee said Singapore did not side with the United States or Russia when it condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Singapore must be firm in its stance and vigorously uphold fundamental principles, he said, adding that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, big or small, must be respected, he said.
Singapore has always opposed the idea that “strength is strength”, Lee said, citing Singapore’s vote in the United Nations against the United States in 1983 when the Americans invaded Grenada, as well as the Singapore’s opposition to the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in 1978.
“No one will stand up for Singapore if we are ever invaded if we don’t stand firm and take a clear stance on the Ukraine crisis,” he said.
In March, India abstained in the UN Security Council during a vote on a Russian draft resolution on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Russia and China voted in favor of the Russian resolution, which made no reference to its invasion of Ukraine, while India was among 13 countries that abstained.
India had previously abstained twice in the Security Council and once in the General Assembly on resolutions relating to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Unlike many other major Western powers, India has yet to criticize Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and it has abstained in votes on UN platforms to condemn the aggression Russian.
India has been criticized by U.S. lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, for choosing to abstain in UN votes to rebuke Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. New Delhi has strong defense ties with Moscow.
In October 2018, India signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems to bolster its air defenses, despite a warning from the Trump administration to the time that continuing the contract could invite US sanctions.
The United States has already imposed CAATSA sanctions on Turkey over the purchase of a batch of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.
Despite strong objections from the United States and the threat of sanctions from the Biden administration, India has refused to change its decision and is proceeding with the purchase of the missile defense system.
India pursues an independent foreign policy and its defense acquisitions are guided by its national security interests, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in November last year.
Lee also commented on the tensions between China and Taiwan, saying it is one of many factors straining US-China ties.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also had an impact on the global security landscape, he said, adding that the possibility of major Asia-Pacific powers experiencing conflicts cannot be ruled out.
“We should all hope that there will be no miscalculations or mishaps in US-China relations,” he said.
The two powers are divided over issues such as rival ideologies and systems of government, China’s growing influence, trade disputes, cyber espionage, Hong Kong and, more recently, the sharp escalation of tensions over Taiwan. .
The United States and China must work together on many pressing global issues, including climate change, pandemics, and nuclear proliferation. But their strained relationship makes that nearly impossible, which is bad news for the world, Lee said.
Although President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping recently held a video call and agreed to meet in person, neither side expects relations to improve, he noted.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has profound implications for the world and for Singapore, as it violates the UN Charter and fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, Lee said.
The war has created deep hostility between Russia and other states, especially the United States and NATO countries, he said, adding that there were nuclear powers on both sides.
Asia-Pacific security has also been affected as relations between the United States and China’s partners in Asia, such as Australia and Japan, have been strained.
Singapore will try to avoid being caught up in the power struggle, Lee said.
The city-state must stand firm on the fundamental principles of international law and work with other countries to uphold a rules-based order, for example by speaking out at the United Nations, he said.