Don't be afraid of Russia, Ukraine exhorts South, SE Asian leaders
Ukraine has urged leaders of South and Southeast Asian countries not to be afraid of Russia and to stop being neutral on the war.
The plea came courtesy of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at a virtual press conference attended by reporters in the two regions.
A host of countries in South and Southeast Asia have maintained a neutral stance on the war and steered clear of saying anything that would upset Russia since the conflict began.
But Kuleba asked how could any nation remain neutral when “war crimes have been committed” and when one country “invades the sovereignty” of another.
He insisted the war in Ukraine is not a local conflict as many have tried to suggest.
The foreign minister said plainly that if Russia succeeded in Ukraine, it would set an example for other countries to follow a similar pattern of invasion and this would pose a “great threat to world order”.
He therefore pleaded for support in term of weapons and other aid so Ukraine could defend itself.
In replying to a question about when the war would end, Kuleba said it could end only with the total withdrawal of Russian troops.
At the same time, Ukraine is open to a diplomatic solution with Russia, he added.