India is strongly against the Ukraine-Russia conflict and supports the call for an independent investigation into reports of killings of civilians, such as in Bucha, the government told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
“We are firmly opposed to the conflict, we believe that no solution can be found by shedding blood and at the cost of innocent lives. Nowadays, dialogue and diplomacy are the right answers to any dispute,” Foreign Minister S Jaishankar told the House in response to Tuesday’s discussion of the conflict. He added that India supported an immediate end to the violence.
Speaking about the killings of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, Jaishankar said India was “deeply disturbed” by the reports. “We strongly condemn the killings that took place there. This is an extremely serious matter and we support the call for an independent investigation,” he said.
Jaishankar also said it was unfortunate to attribute political color to India’s actions vis-a-vis the situation in Ukraine. It should be kept in mind that the contemporary world order was built on the Charter of the United Nations, on respect for international law and on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States, he said. “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 position and it has consistently guided our position in international forums and debates, including at the UN,” Jaishankar said.
The minister also said that from the beginning, the signal from the Ukrainian authorities was that the emerging situation was “manageable” and that everything was under control, which made it difficult for Indian students to leave the country. “We were in constant contact with the Ukrainian authorities and even with the universities. We were very frustrated with some universities,” he said.
To specific concerns raised by the opposition, especially the Trinamool Congress, Congress and others, over the future of students completing their education in the war-torn country, Jaishankar said India was in talks with Poland, Romania, Kazakhstan, and Hungary for the completion of medical training for Ukrainian returnees.
On some of the criticism from the opposition that the government sent Union ministers to neighboring countries to take political advantage of the situation, Jaishankar said the presence of the ministers helped the evacuation process. “If the four ministers had not gone to neighboring countries of Ukraine, India would not have gotten the same level of cooperation from those countries. In fact, the ministers worked as a team,” he said.
Stating that India has never undertaken such a large-scale evacuation effort in the past, Jaishankar said India’s actions have inspired other countries.
Jaishankar said the conflict has impacted the current world order. “The world order keeps changing, which is why the G-7 has become the G-20. The world order is changing because of Covid, Afghanistan… The only way to protect ourselves is to reduce our dependence on foreign countries and be atmanirbhar,” he said. declared.