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India snubs Dutch envoy for remark on Ukraine war

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Dutch ambassador to the UK had a taste of India’s growing self-assertiveness over the Ukraine war that has unleashed several United Nations General Assembly debates culminating in near-isolation of Russia for the invasion.

“Kindly don’t patronize us… New Delhi knows what to do,’’ riposted India’s permanent representative to the UN, TS Tirumurti. He responded to a remark by Dutch ambassador to the UK, Karel van Oossterom, who said India should not have abstained in the General Assembly and that New Delhi should respect the UN Charter.

During a UN Security Council special briefing on Ukraine, Tirumurti made a statement asking for cessation of war in Ukraine. “Ever since the commencement of the conflict in Ukraine, India has been consistently calling for complete cessation of hostilities and for pursuing the path of dialogue and diplomacy as the only way out,” said Tirumurti. “The conflict has resulted in loss of lives and countless miseries for people, particularly women, children and the elderly, with thousands becoming homeless and seeking shelter in neighbouring countries,’’ he said.

India has strongly condemned the killing of civilians in Ukraine’s Bucha town and supported the call for an independent investigation. “We support all efforts to alleviate the suffering of the people of Ukraine. India remains on the side of peace and therefore believes that there will be no winning side in this conflict. While those impacted by this conflict will continue to suffer, diplomacy will be a lasting casualty,’’ Ambassador Tirumurti said.

India has hailed the visit of the UN Secretary General to Moscow and Kyiv and his engagement with the leadership of Russia and Ukraine. “We agree that the immediate priority is the evacuation of innocent civilians from areas witnessing intense fighting,’’ it said. Oil prices are skyrocketing and there is a shortage of food grains due to  the war in Ukraine.

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