New York: India emphasized that humanitarian action shall be guided by the principles of humanity and should not be politicised while reiterating its previous calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine speaking at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Thursday (local time).

"Allow me to underscore that it is important that humanitarian action is always guided by the principles of humanitarian assistance, i.e., humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. These measures should not be politicized," India's Permanent Representative to the UN TS Tirumurti said at the meeting.

The UNSC session was called following a request by six countries including the UK, US, France, Albania, Ireland, and Norway to discuss the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

"We reiterate our call for the immediate cessation of hostilities across Ukraine. Our Prime Minister has reiterated this on several occasions and called for immediate ceasefire and emphasized that there is no option but the path of dialogue and diplomacy," Tirumurti further said.

India's representative also raised concerns on the ongoing humanitarian situation, including the displacement of thousands of people internally and the outflow of more than three million refugees to neighbouring countries. He also highlighted India's contribution in addressing the worrisome situation.

"Keeping in view the dire humanitarian situation unfolding in Ukraine, India has already sent over 90 tonnes of humanitarian supplies to Ukraine and its neighbours, as part of nine separate tranches of humanitarian assistance delivered thus far since 1st March. These supplies have included medicines and other essential relief material. We are in the process of identifying other such requirements and sending further supplies in the coming days," Tirumurti said.

Talking about India's evacuation of its citizens from conflict-ridden Ukraine under Operation Ganga, Tirumurti said, "India has ensured the safe return of about 22,500 Indians from Ukraine. We have also assisted nationals from 18 other countries in that process. We are deeply appreciative of the facilitation rendered by the authorities of Ukraine and its neighbouring countries in ensuring their safe return."

"We stand ready to continue to engage on these objectives in the Security Council, as well as with the Parties, in the coming days. We continue to underline the need to respect the UN Charter, international law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states," Tirumurti said.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry today expressed disappointment over the "unfriendly actions" of the Slovakian authorities which expelled three Russian diplomatic staff.

"We are disappointed by the unfriendly actions of the Slovakian authorities which expelled three Russian diplomatic staff under false pretexts. It goes without saying that the decisions taken by Slovakia will not go unanswered," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

However, the European Space Agency today announced it has suspended the Russian-European Mars mission over the Russia Ukraine war.

"We deeply deplore the human casualties and tragic consequences of the aggression towards Ukraine. While recognizing the impact on scientific exploration of space, ESA is fully aligned with the sanctions imposed on Russia by its Member States," ESA said in a statement.