New Delhi: Former Indian ambassador to Canada Vishnu Prakash said that India's stand over the Russia-Ukraine conflict at international forums is consistent with its national interests and added that New Delhi holds an important relationship with both the US and Russia.

Replying to a question on India's abstention from voting at international forums, the diplomat said, "I think India has taken a stand which is consistent and in keeping with our national interests. Every country does so and so are we. We have an important relationship with Russia. We have a very important relationship with the US."

He emphasized India's stand should not be judged only by its "wordings." "India has said international law should be respected, the territorial integrity and sovereignty should be respected. The human rights of the people of Ukraine should be respected. Violence, hostilities should be stopped and both sides should come back at the negotiating table. We have also said that we are concerned about the developments," he stated.

"We also have Indian students, citizens whose security is vital. Instead of criticizing Russia or condemning Russia, we would give our private counsel that we are giving. We have actually been walking the talk. Other than diplomatic talks there is no alternative," he added.

Praising the success of evacuation of Indian citizens from Ukraine, the former diplomat said, "Shellings and bombings are going on in Ukraine and yet our embassies are coordinating and we have gotten our citizens out. Humanitarian aid has also been provided by the government of India. The situation is being monitored in real-time. We will be able to evacuate each and every citizen of our country out of Ukraine."

Furthermore, commenting on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decision to retain Pakistan in the grey list he said, "Pakistan is getting away from its deeds as it has gotten patrons like China which is supporting them."

"Pakistan has been engaging in misadventure, engaging in terrorism, has been doing cosmetic changes and getting away with that. It is a pity. The only way to deal with Pakistan is to defang the terror networks," he added.

He said that diplomacy is the only right resolution and added that India, despite Pakistan's obduracy has had 45 rounds of talks with the country since independence.

The Paris-based FATF has once again retained Pakistan on the increased monitoring list, also known as the "grey list" and called the country to work on "complex money laundering investigations and prosecutions."

This decision was made after the conclusion of the four-day FATF Plenary from March 1-4. Pakistan has been on the FATF's grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018. This grey listing has adversely impacted its imports, exports, remittances, and limited access to international lending.

"China is on our borders. We have had 14 rounds of discussions so we are suggesting what we believe in ...and we actually do that," said the diplomat.

The 14th round of Corps Commander Level Talks between India and China took place at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point in the mid of January this year.