‘India concerned that Sumy humanitarian corridor did not materialize’: Tirumurti addressing Security Council

India addressed the United Nations Security Council on Monday that it was worried that a humanitarian corridor did not emerge for Indian students in Sumy, Ukraine, despite New Delhi pressing both Russia and Ukraine to create such a corridor.

The Russian invasion and attack on Ukraine have triggered one of Europe’s worst humanitarian crises in decades, with Indian and other international students stranded in the country. According to estimates, over 700 Indian nationals, many of whom are medical students at Sumy State University, have been stranded in the eastern Ukrainian city after evacuation efforts were unsuccessful owing to ongoing shelling.

PM Narendra Modi spoke to both sides

“Our Prime Minister once again spoke to the leadership of both sides today [ March 7 ] and reiterated our call for an immediate ceasefire and the need for both parties to return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy,” India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UNPR), T.S. Tirumurti, said at a Council meeting to discuss the humanitarian crisis.

“ We have also underlined our urgent demand for the safe and unhindered passage for all innocent people, including Indian nationals, staying in Ukraine. “We are gravely worried that the safe corridor for our kids stranded in Sumi did not materialize despite our continuous appeals to both parties,” he said.

The failure of evacuation corridors has been blamed on both Russia and Ukraine, and they traded accusations again during Monday’s summit.

India hoping that everyone will respond positively to Humanitarian demands

Mr. Tirumurti expressed gratitude to Ukraine and its neighbors for allowing the return of over 20,000 Indian citizens in recent days. He stated that India is willing to remove citizens from other nations as well. India also praised Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ ‘flash plea’ for Ukraine and his regional refugee response strategy, according to him. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had issued, on March 1, a fundraising appeal, seeking for $1.1 billion to aid 6 million Ukrainians inside Ukraine over an initial three-month period and an additional $551 million to help those who have crossed across into neighboring countries.

He remarked, “We hope the world community responds positively to the humanitarian demands.” Mr. Tirumurti explained India’s humanitarian support to Ukraine.

New Delhi has been balancing its strategic objectives with Moscow and a West-backed Kyiv on a tightrope. However, the rising human tragedy and the tiny number of countries unwilling to criticize Russia’s invasion of a sovereign country have put pressure on India – for example, from the United States – to modify its approach. Mr. Tirumurti’s remarks before the Security Council on Monday suggested that providing humanitarian aid was not incompatible with “neutrality.” 

“Permit me to emphasize the importance of humanitarian assistance, humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence as guiding principles for humanitarian action.” He stated, “These should not be politicized.”

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