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PM Lee: S'pore must have what it takes to defend itself

Prime Minister says situation in Ukraine is important reminder for small states

Published on Mar 27, 2014 8:08 AM
 
PM Lee Hsien Loong walking along a street in Luxembourg with his counterpart, Mr Xavier Bettel, yesterday. Mr Bettel hosted lunch for Mr Lee after a bilateral meeting and a joint press conference. The two leaders said they had excellent discussions and were keen to deepen ties. Mr Lee also noted that both countries cooperate well at international fora, such as the United Nations, the Forum of Small States, and Global Governance Group. -- ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW

A small state like Singapore must have the wherewithal to defend itself against acts of invasion that Ukraine has found itself subjected to, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

The situation in Ukraine has reminded Singapore of this very important lesson, he said at a press conference during his visit to Luxembourg, another small state.

Crimea, a peninsula in the south of Ukraine, was annexed by Russia last week, a move that provoked a firestorm of reaction and reignited old tensions between the West and the former Soviet empire.

Russia has shrugged off retaliatory sanctions, fuelling fears that it may have designs deeper into eastern Ukraine.

 
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Background story

OLD LESSON

In extremis, you must be prepared to stand up to defend your position, if necessary, with your lives.

- PM Lee, on the need for small states to be able to defend themselves, in response to a question on the situation in Crimea