New York | Jagran News Desk: Asserting that there will be no winning side in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, India has told the UN Security Council that diplomacy will be a lasting casualty while underscoring the immediate need to evacuate innocent civilians from areas witnessing intense fighting in Ukraine. Speaking at the UNSC briefing on Ukraine on Thursday, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said India remains on the side of peace.

"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. However, the conflict has resulted in loss of lives and countless miseries for its peoples, particularly for women, children and (the) elderly, with millions becoming homeless and (being) forced to take shelter in neighbouring countries," he said.

"India remains on the side of peace and therefore believes that there will be no winning side in this conflict and while those impacted by this conflict will continue to suffer, diplomacy will be a lasting casualty," he said.

Tirumurti emphasised that India has strongly condemned the killing of civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha and supported the call for an independent investigation. New Delhi also supports all efforts to alleviate the suffering of the people of Ukraine, he said.

'Cycle of death, destruction' must end in Ukraine, says UN Chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, meanwhile, called for an end to the "cycle of death and destruction" in Ukraine. Guterres further said that he "did not mince words" when he spoke with the presidents of Russia and Ukraine about ending the conflict earlier last month. "The conflict must end for the sake of the people of Ukraine, Russia, and the entire world...the cycle of death, destruction, dislocation and disruption must stop," he said.

"In my meeting with (Russian) President Putin, I, therefore, stressed the imperative of enabling humanitarian access and evacuations from besieged areas, including first and foremost, Mariupol," said Guterres.

"We must continue to do all we can to get people out of these hellscapes," said the UN chief. Reporting on "some measure of success," Guterres outlined the complex humanitarian operation underway, led by the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

"It began on April 29 and has required enormous coordination and advocacy with the Russian Federation and Ukrainian authorities," he said. "So far, two safe passage convoys have been successfully completed."

The first stage at the weekend saw 101 civilians safely evacuated to safety to the north of Mariupol, while the second phase on Wednesday night led to "more than 320" from the region finding a safe haven.

So far, two safe passage convoys have been successfully completed. In the first, which concluded on May 3, 101 civilians were evacuated from the Azovstal plant along with 59 more from a neighbouring area. In the second operation, completed Wednesday night, more than 320 civilians were evacuated from the city of Mariupol and surrounding areas.

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan