US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has praised India and China for their efforts to prevent Russia from using nuclear weapons on Ukraine. Blinken made the remarks in an interview with The Atlantic ahead of his visit to India for the G20 summit. According to Blinken, India and China have "a little bit more influence with Russia these days" and were able to convey their absolute opposition to any use of nuclear weapons.
Blinken expressed concern that Russian President Vladimir Putin might have used nuclear weapons to end the war in Ukraine if not for the efforts of India and China. He said that there was language coming out of Moscow that suggested Putin would look to the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Blinken also acknowledged India's long-standing relationship with Russia but highlighted the country's growing partnership with the US and other countries like France.
India and China both abstained from voting on a resolution to end the Ukraine war in the United Nations General Assembly. While 141 members voted in favour of the resolution, seven opposed it, and 32 members abstained. Both countries have so far taken a neutral stance on the issue, calling for dialogue and peaceful negotiations to end the conflict that has entered its second year.
India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj, said that India remains committed to multilateralism and upholds the principles of the UN Charter. She added that India's approach to the Ukraine conflict will continue to be people-centric and reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement that this cannot be an era of war.
The conflict in Ukraine began in 2014 after the ousting of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in the same year, and fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has continued since then. The war has resulted in the deaths of over 14,000 people and displaced millions. The international community has been trying to end the conflict through diplomatic means, but the situation remains unresolved.