India has so far taken a neutral stand on the war in Ukraine which is in its second month

New Delhi: India, sticking to its strictly neutral stand, has abstained again from voting in the United Nations General Assembly on a draft resolution to suspend Russia from Human Rights Council after the civilian killings in Ukraine's Bucha that triggered shock and horror across the world. The suspension was carried out with 93 nations voting in favour of it and 24 against. There were 58 abstentions.

Citing reasons for its decision, India said, "We do so for reasons of both substance and process".

"Since the inception of the Ukrainian conflict, India has stood for peace, dialogue and diplomacy. We believe that no solution can be arrived at by shedding blood and at the cost of innocent lives. If India has chosen any side, it is the side of peace and it is for an immediate end to violence," India said.

"We continue to remain deeply concerned at the worsening situation and reiterate our call for end to all hostilities. When innocent human lives are at stake, diplomacy must prevail as the only viable option," said Indian envoy to the United Nations TS Tirumurti.

India has so far taken a neutral stand on the war in Ukraine which is in its second month. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has earlier said that India's needs are connected to both Russia and Ukraine, but the country is on the side of peace and hopes that all problems get resolved through dialogue.

Since January, India has abstained on eight occasions on procedural votes and draft resolutions in the UN Security Council, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council that censured the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Earlier this week, India issued its strongest statement so far at the UN Security Council, condemning the civilian killings in Ukraine's Bucha and supported the call for an independent investigation.

Referring to that, India said, "Recent reports of civilian killings in Bucha are deeply disturbing. We have unequivocally condemned these killings and support the call for an independent investigation".

The only time a Member State was suspended from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council was Libya in 2011.

In an unprecedented move, a resolution was adopted in the General Assembly that had expressed "deep concern about the human rights situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" in the wake of Muammar Al-Gaddafi's violent crackdown on anti-Government protestors.

Today's draft resolution against Russia cited "gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights" and "violations of international humanitarian law" committed by Kremlin.