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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaking at the UN Security Council briefing on maintaining peace and security in Ukraine in New York on Thursday. (ANI photo)

New York: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said the Ukraine conflict is a matter of grave concern to the entire international community and the world has seen its consequences in the form of high costs and shortages of food grains and fertilizers and fuel.

Speaking at the UNSC briefing on Ukraine, the minister said that the need of the hour is to end the conflict in Ukraine and return to the negotiating table. “This council is the most powerful symbol of diplomacy. It must continue to live up to its purpose,” he said.

Jaishankar recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks regarding the Ukraine conflict during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the SCO summit. India, along with other members a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, attended Thursday’s meeting.

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The Council was represented by the External Affairs Minister in the meeting. It was the first direct encounter between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ukraine’s Dmitro Kuleba, who attended the meeting as their country is the subject of discussion.

“The trajectory of the Ukraine conflict is a matter of grave concern to the entire international community. The outlook appears to be really disturbing. In a globalized world its impact is being felt even in the far flung regions. We have all experienced high costs and have experienced its consequences in the form of real shortages of food, fertilizer and fuel. The global South, in particular, is feeling the pain acutely. We must not initiate measures that further complicate the global economy, Jaishankar said.

“That is why India is reiterating the need for an immediate end to all hostilities and a return to dialogue and diplomacy. Clearly, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized, this cannot be an era of war,” he said.

Referring to the specific subject before the Council, Jaishankar stressed that even in situations of conflict, there can be no justification for violation of human rights or international law. “Where any such act takes place, it is imperative that it be investigated in an impartial and independent manner.

We took the same position with regard to the murders in Bucha. This is the situation even today. The Council will also remember that we supported the call for an independent inquiry into that incident.”

Jaishankar said that the fight against impunity is vital to the larger effort to achieve peace and justice. “The Security Council should send a clear and clear message on this matter. Politics should never be provided cover to avoid accountability. Nor to actually facilitate impunity.

Sadly, we have seen in this chamber recently, when it comes to banning some of the most feared terrorists in the world. “If serious attacks made in broad daylight are left out, this council should reflect on the signals we are sending on impunity.

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If we have to ensure credibility, then there must be continuity.” On Wednesday, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shyamal thanked India and called on India to “join forces” to stop Russia’s aggression during his meeting with Jaishankar. India has been neutral on Russia’s aggression condemning Moscow and avoiding votes in the assembly.

It has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine and recently voted with the West on a procedural vote to invite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to speak remotely to the council, despite opposition from Russia.

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