New York, February 17: Amid the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, India on Thursday said that quiet and constructive diplomacy is the need of the hour and any steps that increase tension may best be avoided by all sides in the larger interest of securing international peace and security.

Delivering India's Statement at UN Security Council on Minsk-II Agreements, Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti said the issue can only be resolved through diplomatic dialogue. He said India welcomes the efforts underway for the implementation of the 'Minsk Agreements' including through the Trilateral Contact Group and under the Normandy format.

He said India has been in touch with all parties concerned and New Delhi's interest is in finding a solution that can provide for immediate de-escalation of tensions taking into account the legitimate security interests of all countries and aimed towards securing long-term peace and stability in the region and beyond. US Hopes India Will Support America if Russia Attacks Ukraine.

"We reiterate our call for the peaceful resolution of the situation by sincere and sustained diplomatic efforts to ensure that concerns of all sides are amicably resolved through constructive dialogue," he said. Tirumurti said more than 20,000 Indian students and nationals live and study in different parts of Ukraine, including in its border areas.

"The well-being of Indian nationals is of priority to us," he said.

Tirumurti said India believes 'Minsk Agreements' provide a basis for a negotiated and peaceful settlement of the situation in Eastern Ukraine.

Accordingly, we urge all parties to continue to engage through all possible diplomatic channels and keep working towards the full implementation of the 'Minsk Agreements'," the statement said. He said India also believes that meetings under the Normandy Format will further facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the 'Minsk Agreements', including its key security and political aspects.

"In this context, we welcome the recent meetings of Political Advisers of Normandy Format countries in Paris and Berlin. We also welcome the unconditional observance of the July 2020 ceasefire, the reaffirmation of 'Minsk Agreements' as the basis of work under the Normandy Format and the commitment of all sides to reduce disagreements on the way forward," the statement said.

"Any steps that increase tension may best be avoided by all sides in the larger interest of securing international peace and security. Quiet and constructive diplomacy is the need of the hour," he said. Earlier, India called for immediate de-escalation of Russia-Ukraine border tensions. Tirumurti said the Russia-Ukraine military tensions can only be resolved through diplomatic dialogue.

Tensions over Ukraine have increased in recent months, with Russia and NATO accusing each other of amassing troops on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

The United States and Ukraine accuse Russia of preparing to invade. Meanwhile, Moscow denies the claims and maintains that it has no intention of attacking any country. Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Russia Attack on Ukraine Possible in 'Next Several Days’, Says Joe Biden.

The conflict in Donbas between Ukraine's government and the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics has been going on since 2014. The Minsk Agreements, designed to find a political resolution to the conflict, were negotiated by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine -- the Normandy group -- in February 2015. However, the agreement has so far not been observed and sporadic clashes continue.

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