For the 2nd Time, US Lawmakers Urge India To Speak Against Russia’s Invasion

The US lawmakers spoke with India's ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, to convey their concerns.

3 min read

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from the United States on Thursday, 17 March, urged India to speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The lawmakers, led by Congressman Joe Wilson and Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna, spoke with India's top envoy to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu.

Khanna, in a tweet, appreciated the opportunity to join the call with Ambassador Sandhu and said, "On both sides of the aisle, friends of India are urging India to use its influence for peace."

Congressman Wilson tweeted, "Grateful to join my colleague in a bipartisan call with the Ambassador of India to the US. It is critical that world leaders condemn the atrocities being committed by Putin in Ukraine."


An article in The Times quoted Khanna as saying that he was ‘perplexed’ by India’s abstentions in the UN, and wanted the US administration to ‘press’ India to change its position.

Sharing the article on Twitter, Khanna said, "A few Indians do not like that I have vocally criticised India for abstaining from condemning Putin’s horrific murder of mother & children. My job is to stand up for America & human rights, not be an apologist for India when they are clearly in the wrong."

Retorting to Khanna's tough position on India, Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defence, had told Khanna during a Congressional hearing, "We are aware that India has a long history and a complicated economic and security partnership with the Russians. They receive a majority of weapons from Russia," according to the article.

Disappointed with India’s Approach to the Russian Conflict: Two US Lawmakers

This is for the second time in two days that US lawmakers have urged India to condemn Russia over its military aggression against Ukraine.

On 16 March, two lawmakers – Ted W Lieu and Tom Malinowski – had urged India to condemn Russia.

"Though we understand India's relationship with Russia, we are disappointed with your government's decision to abstain from the UN General Assembly's 2 March vote," they had said in a letter to Ambassador Sandhu.

"India's historic support for the UN Charter and the principles of territorial integrity gives us hope that India will join other democracies to support Ukrainian sovereignty in the face of Russian aggression," the two Democratic lawmakers wrote.

They said they "deeply value" the relationship between the two countries but "are disappointed that India has taken this approach".

"We understand that India walks a difficult middle ground, but Russia's actions have no place in the 21st century. Many countries who have relationships with Russia did the right thing and condemned the Russian government they chose the right side of history and so should India," they said.

"We hope that India will move away from its current position that places blame on both sides and acknowledges that Russia is the aggressor in this conflict," the letter read.

Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera had also expressed his disappointment over India abstaining at the UN vote against Russia.


Russia Puts UNSC Ukraine Resolution on Hold

Meanwhile, The Russian UN Security Council resolution condemned all violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, including the Geneva Conventions and had called for a humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine to enable the safe evacuation of civilians, Sputnik reported citing a draft text of the resolution released on Tuesday.

However, Russia has decided to halt its call for a vote on its draft resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine over lack of support. Russian will instead call for an emergency meeting to address the US bio-laboratories in the war-torn country.

"We decided, on this stage, not to ask for a vote on our draft, but we are not withdrawing the draft resolution. Instead, tomorrow morning, we will ask for an emergency meeting to discuss again the issue of US bio laboratories in Ukraine, using the new documents we obtained in the course of the special military operation," Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said during a Security Council meeting on Thursday.

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