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ICC issues arrest warrant against Putin over war crime allegations

ICC accused the Russian president of responsibility for war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine…reports Asian Lite News

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian official Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova for the alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia, reported CNN.

The Hague-based ICC accused the Russian president of responsibility for war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine during the war that has been ongoing for over a year.

The Hague-based court said in a statement on Friday Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of the population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

It also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the office of the president of the Russian Federation on similar allegations, reported Al Jazeera.

Russia did not immediately comment following the ICC’s move on Friday. Russia denies committing atrocities since it invaded Ukraine in February last year.

The warrants came a day after a United Nations-backed inquiry accused Russia of committing wide-ranging war crimes in Ukraine, including the forced deportations of children in areas it controls, reported Al Jazeera.

The UN genocide convention defines “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” as one of five acts that can be prosecuted as genocide.

However, the successful extradition of President Putin could prove a far greater challenge as Russia does not recognise the jurisdiction of the international criminal court in The Hague, reported DW News.

Russia denies deliberately harming civilians but its defence ministry has claimed to have targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

Russia signed the Rome statute, which governs the ICC, in 2000 but never ratified the agreement to become a member. It formally withheld its signature from the founding statute of the ICC in 2016, a day after the court published a report classifying the Russian annexation of Crimea as an occupation.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Kremlin has severed ties with several prominent international organisations, deepening the country’s isolation from the west.

In March last year, Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe, the continent’s leading human rights watchdog, over its attack on Ukraine.

Moscow is also pulling out of the International Space Station after 2024 and has threatened to withdraw from the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Putin says Germany remains “occupied” by US

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West was arming Ukraine since many years, says Lavrov

Strongly advocating reforms in the UN Security Council, he said: “It is high time to reform the UN Security Council.”..reports Asian Lite News

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday said that the country’s war with Ukraine has been termed as an “invasion” by the West, because it was the Western bloc which was preparing for a war since many years, and therefore was arming Ukraine for it.

Addressing a press conference after the G20 Foreign Ministers’ summit, Lavrov said: “This invasion (of Ukraine as per the West) reflects the reaction to the war the West was preparing for many years and that is why it was arming the Ukrainian regime.”

Attacking the West, Lavrov said that the Western nations were conquering lands and exploiting the people.

“Unfortunately, West did not drop its neocolonial habits. It is still promoting their interstes without considering interests of global community,” he said.

The Russian Foreign Minister added that despite sanctions against his country by the Western nations, almost none of the developing nations joined those sanctions, as they are aware of the “kind of game West is playing”.

“Some of them (nations) under pressure say certain things or vote in a certain manner to relieve themselves from US pressure but almost no developing country, almost none of them, joined sanctions under Russia because they are aware what kind of game West is playing,” he said.

“It is in the UN charter that every state must adhere to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of any other state,” he said, adding that Russia has never stood against any state or any country developing foreign ties with any other state.

Strongly advocating reforms in the UN Security Council, he said: “It is high time to reform the UN Security Council.”

Lavrov appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address earlier in the day, saying, “PM Modi presented a balanced and responsible position. He was not just speaking about some isolated individual situation, because the West is trying to divide the geopolitical picture. He gave an assessment of the situation across the globe.”

He described Russia’s relationship with India as a “privileged strategic partnership”.

“This reflects the special character of the relationship. We appreciate the responsible stand India is taking on key global agendas,” he added.

Differences on Ukraine reflect in Outcome Document

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting reflected the concerns of the global south and came out with an Outcome document and not a collective statement as there were differences on Ukraine issue which could not be reconciled.

“If we had perfect meetings of minds on all issues and captured it fully, it would have been collective statement but there were issues on which there were divergences…There were differences on Ukraine issue which we could not reconcile,” Jaishankar said at a press conference here. He said on bulk of the issues which concern the Global South, the developing countries, there was considerable meeting of minds.

“And a considerable meeting of minds has been captured by the Outcome document. If we had a perfect meeting of minds of all issues and captured it fully then obviously it would have been a collective statement,” he said.

Jaishankar said that the Chair Summary outlined the concerns of the Global South and “it is just on two paragraphs that were not able to get everybody on the same page.”

Paragraphs three and four of the Outcome document were taken from the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration and were agreed to by all member countries except Russia and China.

Answering a query on the impact of Ukraine conflict, Jaishankar said it is impacting the global south.

“Of course, it is. It is not something new. In fact, India has been saying this very strongly for pretty much close to a year that this is affecting… In fact, today, in my own session, I actually used the word saying for much of the global south, this is a make-or-break issue that the cost of fuel, the cost of food, the cost of fertilizer…The availability of fertilizer which means next year’s food. These are all extremely pressing issues,” he said.

“If you see, some of the countries who were already struggling with debt, who were already impacted by the pandemic. For them, the knock-on effects of this conflict coming on top of that. It is a matter of very, very deep concern for us. Which is why we kept focus in this meeting on the concerns of the global south. We feel these are the most vulnerable countries. It is not credible to talk about the future of the global economy and the multilateral order if we are not able to really address and focus on the issues of those who are most in need,” Jaishankar said.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his remarks had said that G20 countries also had a responsibility towards those not in the room

“There were five important points in the Prime Minister’s address. One, he noted that multilateralism is in crisis today. And, in terms of preventing future wars and fostering international cooperation which were two primary tasks it had failed. The second point he made was that it is important to give a voice to the global south because world was sinking … a lot of countries actually regressing on their sustainable goals pathway were witnessing challenging debts,” he said .

“The third point he made was that the discussions which we were beginning at that time. He recognised that these discussions were affected by the geopolitical tensions of the day but asked us all as foreign ministers to remember that we had a responsibility for those who are not in the room. And therefore, he urged that we draw inspiration from India’s civilisation ethos and focus not on what divides us but on what unites us,” he added.

Jaishankar reiterated PM Modi’s concerns about the challenges that the participating countries should address which included the impact of the pandemic, the lives lost in natural disasters, the breakdown of global supply chains, debt and financial crisis.

He said that G20 group have individually and collectively an obligation to contribute to international growth and prosperity, adding that these can be implemented through sustainable partnerships and goodwill initiatives.

“On its part, India has undertaken development projects in 78 countries and has actively encouraged exchanges and capability building. During the Covid pandemic, we made a conscious effort at contributing to global solutions even while looking after our own. Today’s situation demands that we continue to live up to our international responsibilities. G20 must be sensitive to all our partners’ priorities and economic concerns, especially those more vulnerable. We must ensure demand-driven and sustainable development cooperation based on country ownership and transparency. Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity are essential guiding principles for such cooperation,” he said. (ANI)

ALSO READ-Global decision-making must be democratised, says Jaishankar

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Blinken tells Lavrov to ‘end this war’

The US Secretary of State also urged his Russian counterpart to reverse Moscow’s “irresponsible decision” and return to implementing the nuclear arms reduction treaty.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday urged his Russian counterpart Lavrov to reverse Moscow’s “irresponsible decision” and return to implementing the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treat) nuclear arms reduction treaty.

“I spoke briefly with Russian FM Lavrov today,” said Blinken as he confirmed that he met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday on the sidelines of G20 in New Delhi. “I urged Russia to reverse its irresponsible decision and return to implementing the New START, which places verifiable limits on the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Russian Federation. Mutual compliance is in the interest of both our countries. It’s also what people around the world expect from us as nuclear powers,” Blinken added.

“I told the foreign minister that no matter what else is happening in the world or in our relationship, the United States will always be ready to engage and act on strategic arms control, just as the United States and the Soviet Union did even at the height of the Cold War,” he added.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the first session of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

The meeting was the first face-to-face meeting between the two foreign ministers since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began over a year ago and which triggered a rift between US-led Western countries and Russia.

He said that every country continues to bear the cost of Russia’s aggression.

“Every country continues to bear the cost of Russia’s aggression; A war that President Putin can end tomorrow if he chose to do so. We worked hard to prevent it,” said Blinken in New Delhi.

Blinken also reaffirmed Washington’s support for Ukraine’s peace proposal that maintains the country’s territorial integrity.

He also lauded Indian prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying “PM Modi is right that there are challenges to the multilateral system. And those challenges in many ways are coming directly from Russia which is violating the principles that lie at the heart of that system.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addresses a press conference on India’s role in bringing peace amid the Ukraine crisis, in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

“I told the foreign minister (Lavrov) what I and so many others said last week at the United Nations and what so many G20 foreign ministers said today: End this war of aggression, engage in meaningful diplomacy that can produce a just and durable peace,” Blinken said in Delhi.

“The US stands ready to support Ukraine through diplomacy to end the war on this basis President Putin however has demonstrated zero interest in engaging saying that there is nothing to talk about,” Blinken said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is suspending participation in New START — the only remaining major nuclear arms control treaty with the US — and sought to blame the West for the Ukraine conflict.

Notably, the START caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads that the US and Russia can deploy.

The TREATY was signed by former US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in 2010.

It came into force in February 2011 and was extended in 2021 for five more years after US President Joe Biden took office.

New Delhi, Mar 02 (ANI): South Africa Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor with Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary James Cleverly at the first session of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, in New Delhi on Thursday. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov can also be seen on the extreme left. (ANI Photo)

Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the West is trying to divide the geopolitical picture into individual episodes.

“The West is trying to divide the geopolitical picture into individual episodes but India, addressed by PM Modi, gave the assessment of the situation across the globe in general terms and I completely share it,” Lavrov said after holding a brief meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Lavrov said that Russia has tried to resolve the issues on many occasions, and Russia has publicly stated that it has never refused to listen to suggestions to find political resolutions.(ANI)

ALSO READ: Jaishankar, Chinese FM discuss border tensions

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G20 FMs fail to reach consensus over Ukraine, No joint communique

The lack of consensus among the G20 nations to come out with a joint communique was despite India’s best efforts to build one, reports Asian Lite News

The G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting here on Thursday failed to come out with a joint communique, owing to deep differences over the Ukraine conflict.

The lack of consensus among the G20 nations to come out with a joint communique was despite India’s best efforts to build one.

The meeting was held under India’s G20 presidency.

In its place though, a Chair’s Summary and Outcome document was adopted.

This is the second time within a span of few days that G20 nations have failed to arrive at a consensus over the Ukraine conflict.

Last week, during the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Banks Governors (FMCBG) meeting, the member nations had failed to come out with joint comminique over lack of consensus on Ukraine.

Meanwhile later during a press conference, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said that issues concerning the Ukraine conflict were there among member nations.

He added that there were polarised views on the issue.

The differences were mainly between the US-led Western nations and the Russia-China group on the other side, over the Ukraine conflict, sources privy to developments said.

Jaishankar said that the Outcome Document and the Chair’s Summary reflected the G20’s resolve to deal with pressing global challenges.

There was a consensus on a slew of issues, he added, mainly related to multilateralism, food and energy security, climate change, gender issues, global health and terrorism.

Meanwhile all the G20 nations condemned terrorism in all its forms and counter- narcotics was also discussed for the first time, the External Affairs Minister said.

ALSO READ: Blinken lauds India’s role at G20

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Terrorism on UNSC agenda as Mozambique chairs debate

India, which headed the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) during its tenure on the Council in the past two years, brought a renewed focus to the scourge of terrorism….reports Arul Louis

Mozambique will convene a high-level debate at the UN Security Council chaired by President Filipe Nyusi on countering terrorism,”a matter of great concern for the world”, according to Permanent Representative Pedro Comissario Afonso, who took over the Council’s presidency.

“Terrorism is a matter of great concern in the world today, so we need to pool our efforts to combat possibly defeat and eradicate terrorism,” Afonso said briefing reporters on Wednesday on the Council’s agenda for the month.

“This will be an opportunity to leverage actions by the Security Council to explore further opportunities for engagements under Chapter VIII of the United Nations (Charter) in support of the counterterrorism initiatives,” he added.

The chapter provides for regional arrangements in cooperation with the UN to deal with security threats.

The meeting is scheduled for March 28.

India, which headed the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) during its tenure on the Council in the past two years, brought a renewed focus to the scourge of terrorism.

During its presidency in December, India convened a ministerial-level meeting of the Council chaired by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on fighting terrorism.

India brought members of the CTC to the site of the 2008 terror strikes in Mumbai that killed more than 170 people to dramatise the threat.

The terror threat “is always there, and many people and many countries have the experience of how terrorists can strike at any time there,” Afonso said.

“Terrorism is terrorism,” he added, dismissing excuses some countries make.

While acknowledging the inability of the Council to deal with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he said that it “does not affect the credibility of the United Nations in general”.

He cited the decolonisation efforts of the UN that brought freedom to countries like his as examples of its efficacy.

But he also emphasised reform of the Council, saying that “Africa is a victim of a historical injustice” when the UN was set up after World War II denying the continent permanent seats.

Most of the peacekeeping operations that are mandated by the Council take place in Africa.

Afonso said that Africa should get at least two permanent seats and five non-permanent seats “and we have been fighting for that”.

The African nations were actively negotiating for and discussing the reform of the Council, he added.

Despite the resounding calls by world leaders at the September high-level General Assembly session, “the reform of the Security Council is a complex process” and cannot be instantaneously resolved, he said.

“You can’t just say, ‘Oh, yes, I accept one (permanent) seat for Africa’ and the problem will be solved,” Afonso added.

Other continents also have claims and “we needed to take account of all these different, differentiated positions”.

“It is not a very easy problem,” he said.

ALSO READ: G20 FMs meet: Ukraine conflict set to top agenda, says India

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Jaishankar meets Lavrov, Borrell ahead of G20 meet

India on Wednesday cleared its stand on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, reaffirming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that “this isn’t an era of war.”

Ahead of the G20 Foreign Minister’s Meeting, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, European Union Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell and Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama.

“Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov holds a meeting with Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar,” tweeted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. Jaishankar will chair two sessions at the foreign ministers’ meeting on Thursday.

“The first session will focus on multilateralism, and issues related to food and energy. The second session will focus on four or five key issues including new and emerging threats including counter-terrorism and narcotics, global skill mapping, and focus on global talent pools,” said Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar said the conversation with Borell focused on the G20 agenda and the Ukraine conflict.

“Pleased to meet EU HRVP @JosepBorrellF before the #G20FMM tomorrow. Our conversation focused on the G20 agenda and the Ukraine conflict. Appreciated the steady growth of India-EU cooperation,” tweeted Jaishankar.

India on Wednesday cleared its stand on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, reaffirming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that “this isn’t an era of war.”

Speaking at a special briefing on G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said, “India’s position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is that ‘This isn’t an era of war’. Dialogue and diplomacy are the way forward. The agenda is for the foreign ministers to discuss in the meet.”

He said the Russia-Ukraine conflict will be an important point of discussion when the foreign ministers from around the world meet during Thursday’s Group of 20 (G20) gathering in New Delhi.

“Given the developing situation of Russia-Ukraine, naturally, it’ll be an important point of discussion during the Foreign Ministers Meeting. Foreign ministers will be focusing on the Russia-Ukraine situation, it’ll be important to what they come out with, what understanding is developed,” said Kwatra.

He further added, “Issues of the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the world including economic impact and impact on development will also be focused upon in the meeting.”

Jaishankar also met Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama and underlined India’s strong commitment to the Global South and the interests of the African Union.

He also took up the MV Heroic Idun issue and pressed for the early repatriation of crew members.

“Good to meet FM @GeoffreyOnyeama of Nigeria this afternoon. Underlined India’s strong commitment to the Global South and the interests of the African Union. Noted recent developments in our bilateral cooperation, especially in educational exchanges. Welcomed direct flights between our two countries.

Took up the MV Heroic Idun issue and pressed for early repatriation of crew members,” tweeted Jaishankar.

Since August this year, 16 Indian sailors aboard oil tanker MT Heroic Idun have been in detention, first in Equatorial Guinea and now in Nigeria, for alleged oil theft, among other charges. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Jaishankar, Brazilian FM hold talks ahead of key G20 meet

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Consensus reached on 4 themes of G20 Culture Working Group

Presentations were made on the working process along with the presentations by knowledge partner Unesco….reports Asian Lite News

A consensus has emerged among the G20 member countries, guest countries and international organisations for the four main themes of the Culture Working Group of G20.

The third and fourth working group session of the first Cultural Working Group meeting was organised on Friday at the Maharaja Chhatrasal Convention Centre in Madhya Pradesh’s Khajuraho.

Presentations were made on the working process along with the presentations by knowledge partner Unesco.

Govind Mohan, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, in his remarks said the first meeting of the Culture Working Group under India’s G20 chairmanship ended on Friday. In the meeting, there was a discussion on the priorities set by India in four important sessions.

The official said that India had put forward four main themes for this meeting. These include Protection and Restitution of Cultural Property; Harnessing Living Heritage of Sustainable Future; Promotion of Cultural and Creative Industries and Creative Economy, and Leveraging of Digital Technology for Protection and Promotion of Culture.

In the two-day brainstorming, a consensus has emerged among the G-20 member countries, guest countries and international organisations that took part in the meeting that these topics should be taken forward strongly. All countries supported our proposal, he added.

Govind Mohan said that it was agreed in the meeting that experts should now work on micro-level detailing through webinars so that by August, “we can announce a new initiative and, based on that, a new path can be carved out”.

He said that bilateral talks have also taken place in the meeting between many countries, including the UK, Mauritius, Japan, Singapore, and the US.

Later on Friday evening, the G20 delegates also visited the Adivart Tribal and Folk Art Museum in Khajuraho.

ALSO READ: G20 Finance Ministers’ meet ends without consensus on Ukraine

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LA still blanketed by snow in rare heavy storm

Forecasters said there would be a one-day respite before the next storm arrives on Monday….reports Asian Lite News

A powerful winter storm that swept down the West Coast with flooding and frigid temperatures shifted its focus to southern California on Saturday, swelling rivers to dangerous levels and dropping snow in even low-lying areas around Los Angeles.

The National Weather Service said it was one of the strongest storms to ever hit southwest California and even as the volume of wind and rain dropped, it continued to have significant impact including snowfall down to elevations as low as 1,000 feet (305 meters). Hills around suburban Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, were blanketed in white, and snow also surprised inland suburbs to the east.

Rare blizzard warnings for the mountains and widespread flood watches were ending late in the day as the storm tapered off in the region. Forecasters said there would be a one-day respite before the next storm arrives on Monday.

After days of fierce winds, toppled trees and downed wires, more than 120,000 California utility customers remained without electricity, according to And Interstate 5, the West Coast’s major north-south highway, remained closed due to heavy snow and ice in Tejon Pass through the mountains north of Los Angeles.

Multiday precipitation totals as of Saturday morning included a staggering 81 inches (205 centimeters) of snow at the Mountain High resort in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles and up to 64 inches (160 centimeters) farther east at Snow Valley in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Rainfall totals as of late Saturday morning were equally stunning, including nearly 15 inches (38.1 centimeters) at Los Angeles County’s Cogswell Dam and nearly 10.5 inches (26.6 cm) in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles.

“Quite a remarkable storm the last few days with historic amounts of precip and snow down to elevations that rarely see snow,” the LA-area weather office wrote.

The Los Angeles River and other waterways that normally flow at a trickle or are dry most of the year were raging with runoff Saturday. The Los Angeles Fire Department used a helicopter to rescue four homeless people who were stranded in the river’s major flood control basin. Two were taken to a hospital with hypothermia, said spokesperson Brian Humphrey.

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ISRO seizes opportunity amid Ukraine war

However, the Russia-Ukraine conflict had impacted ISRO’s semi-cryogenic engine project, reports Venkatachari Jagannathan

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has opened up new opportunities for the Indian space agency, but also delayed the development of the semi-cryogenic rocket engine.

While it is said that a war between nations anywhere in the world would benefit the American defence industry, perhaps for a change, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has benefited India to some extent.

For instance, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) got more than Rs 1,000 crore worth of satellite launch contract from the UK-based Network Access Associated Ltd (OneWeb).

Originally, the OneWeb satellites were slated to be launched by a Russian rocket. Russia, however, refused to launch OneWeb satellites as the latter did not comply with the former’s condition.

ISRO’s commercial arm NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL) signed a contract with OneWeb to launch 72 satellites in two phases for a launch fee of over Rs 1,000 crore, OneWeb Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal had said last October.

The first batch of 36 satellites was launched on October 23, 2022 from Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh with the LVM3 rocket formerly known as Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII (GSLV MkIII).

The second lot of 36-satellites are expected to be orbited next month by ISRO’s rocket.

Ukraine war.(photo:Instagram)

OneWeb officials had said that their association with ISRO is expected to continue as they will be launching the next generation satellites and replacement satellites that are orbiting.

“The successful launch of OneWeb satellites has made other satellite players look at ISRO,” S.Somanath, Chairman, ISRO had earlier told IANS.

However, the Russia-Ukraine conflict had impacted ISRO’s semi-cryogenic engine project. The semi-cryogenic engine payload was to be improved with Ukraine’s assistance, a senior ISRO official told IANS preferring anonymity.

Meanwhile ISRO decided to develop the semi-cryogenic engine on its own. The engine is expected to be tested in a month or so.

According to an ISRO official, as regards India’s human space mission, Russia was expected to supply the environment life systems. However, the systems had to be redesigned for ISRO’s human space mission rocket as Russia was flying only Soyuz spacecraft.

“We have made a prototype and its testing process is on,” the ISRO official said.

India and Russia had also signed an agreement for sourcing crew seats and crew suits for the human space mission.

According to the ISRO official, those items have come and the issue is making the payment to Russia due to the sanctions by the Western nations.

India’s space programmes were affected due to Covid induced global lockdown which in turn affected production and delayed the imports of electronics/semiconductor chips from the US and Europe.

The Covid pandemic was soon followed by the Russia-Ukraine war impacting production and supply chain, the ISRO official said.

The electronics imported from the US and Europe are used in making rockets and satellites. For making space grade items, it needs a lead time of two years.

ALSO READ: Chandrayaan-3 successfully clears key tests

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UN faces existential threat from Ukraine conflict

The Charter itself has paralysed the UN by conferring veto powers for permanent members at the Security Council, which alone can act, a report by Arul Louis

Paralysed by its own Charter and structure, the world organisation that is charged with preventing wars confronts an existential challenge from Russias ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

When Russia, a UN Security Council Permanent Member, sent its troops into a smaller neighbour defying the UN Charter and all norms of international relations on February 24, 2022, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had said: “This is the saddest moment in my tenure as Secretary-General of the UN.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) meets with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Kiev on April 28, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Office/Handout via Xinhua/IANS)

Beyond sadness from the betrayal and the pain inflicted on nations around the world, especially the poorest, the war drives into the very foundation of the UN built nearly 78 years ago.

Guterres warned this month, “I fear the world is not sleepwalking into a wider war, I fear it is doing so with its eyes wide open”.

And the invasion has raised questions about the UN’s resolve “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, as the first sentence of its Charter declares.

Yet the Charter itself has paralysed the UN by conferring veto powers for permanent members at the Security Council, which alone can act.

Russia’s vetoes have mired the Council in the morass of inaction renewing calls for its reform.

Describing the situation, General Assembly President Csaba Korosi said: “The Security Council — the main guarantor of international peace and security – has remained blocked, unable to fully carry out its mandate.”

“Growing numbers are now demanding its reform,” he said noting that at the Assembly’s High-Level Week in September, “one-third of world leaders underscored the urgent need to reform the Council — more than double the number in 2021”.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Petersburg in 2019. (File Photo: UN)

While the reform process — in which India has a special interest as an aspirant for a permanent seat –that has itself been stymied for nearly two decades has come to the fore, it is not likely to happen any time soon.

But the General Assembly, which does not have the enforcement powers of the Council, has used the imbroglio to set a precedent forcing permanent members when they wield their veto to face it and explain their action.

Russia appeared before the Assembly to answer for its vetoes while facing a barrage of criticism.

The Assembly also revived a seldom-used action under the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution of calling for an emergency special session when the Council fails in its primary duty of maintaining peace and security.

It passed a resolution in March demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders”.

It received 141 votes — getting more than two-thirds of the votes 193 required for it — while India was among the 35 countries that abstained.

This, as well as the subsequent three passed last year ultimately were but an exercise in moral authority with no means to enforce it.

A proposal made by Mexico and France in 2015 calling on permanent members to refrain from using their vetoes on issues involving them also has been getting a re-airing– but to no avail.

Russia’s Permanent Representative Vasily Nebenza vetoes the resolution at the UN Security Council.

India, which was a member of the Council last year was caught in the middle of the polarisation at the UN, both at the Council and the Assembly, because of its dependence on Russian arms and the support it had received at crucial times in the Security Council from its predecessor the Soviet Union.

India abstained at least 11 times on substantive resolutions relating to Ukraine in both chambers of the UN, including resolutions at the Council sponsored by Moscow.

India faced tremendous pressure from the West to join in voting on resolutions against Russia and openly take a definitive stand condemning Moscow.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar told the Security Council in September 2022: “As the Ukraine conflict continues to rage, we are often asked whose side we are on. And our answer, each time, is straight and honest. India is on the side of peace and will remain firmly there.”

And while keeping the semblance of neutrality while voting, India came closest to taking a stand in support of Ukraine — and by inference against Russia — when he said, “we are on the side that respects the UN Charter and its founding principles”.

Now out of the Council, New Delhi’s profile has been lowered and it also does not have to publicly display its tight-rope walk as often, although it may yet have to do it again this week when the Assembly is likely to have a resolution around the invasion’s anniversary.

The pain of the invasion is felt far beyond the borders of Ukraine.

(Photo: Instagram/zelenskiy)

Guterres said: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is inflicting untold suffering on the Ukrainian people, with profound global implications.”

The fallout of the war has set back the UN’s omnibus development goals.

More immediately, several countries came to the brink of famine and the spectre of hunger still stalks the world because of shortages of agricultural input, while many countries, including many developed nations, face severe energy and financial problems.

The war shut off exports of food grains from Ukraine and limited exports from Russia, the two countries that have become the world’s food baskets.

Besides depriving many countries of food grains, the shortages raised global prices.

The one victory for the UN has been the Black Sea agreement forged with Russia, Ukraine and Turkey in July to allow safe passage for ships carrying foodgrains from Ukrainian ports.

Guterres’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that in about 1,500 trips by ships so far, “more than 21.3 million tonnes of grain and food products have been moved so far during the initiative, helping to bring down global food prices and stabilising markets”.

Csaba Korosi, president of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). (Xinhua/Wang Ying/IANS)

A UN outfit, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has also made an impact during the war, working to protect nuclear facilities in Ukraine that were occupied by Russia’s forces while shelling around them.

It said that it has managed to station teams of safety and security experts at Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and at Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 disaster “to help reduce the risk of a severe nuclear accident during the ongoing conflict in the country”.

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