Following a gradual change in its diplomatic position on Russia, top diplomats from 22 countries, including European Union member states have jointly called on the government of Pakistan to support a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was recently in Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin and the country, while going against its earlier positions at the UN, has abstained in the crucial vote against Russia for its aggressive stance in Ukraine.
“As heads of mission to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, we urge Pakistan to join us in condemning Russia’s actions,” said a joint statement signed by envoys from 22 countries. Signatories included EU member states Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands, as well as Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and Britain.
The 193-member UNGA will this week vote on a resolution condemning Moscow’s actions, similar to one vetoed by Russia in the Security Council on Friday. The resolution needs two-thirds support to be adopted.
Before his Russia visit, Khan said the Ukraine crisis had nothing to do with Pakistan, which did not want to join any bloc. While Pakistan has begun expanding ties with Russia on energy projects, the EU is its top export market along with the United States.
The EU has given Pakistan special trade status, the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP+), which lowers entry tariffs. There was no comment from Pakistan’s Foreign Office, but the country’s Human Rights Minister, Shireen Mazari, responded on Twitter calling the joint statement ‘ironic’.
She said Pakistan did not support military force, but the EU could not adhere to the U.N. Charter “selectively” as has been done “for decades”. She called for the EU to condemn alleged violations by India and Israel.