Ukraine envoy to S'pore urges nations to impose coordinated sanctions on Russia

Ukrainian Ambassador to Singapore Kateryna Zelenko during a briefing to the media on Feb 25, 2022. PHOTO: EMBASSY OF UKRAINE IN THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Ukraine has urged the world to show its condemnation of Russia's invasion by slapping massive coordinated sanctions on Moscow, while offering military support to Kyiv.

In a briefing to the media on Friday (Feb 25), Ukrainian Ambassador to Singapore Kateryna Zelenko said while humanitarian aid to Ukrainians is important, the country also needs strong defensive support when dealing with Moscow, who she described as a "powerful enemy."

"We urge the international community to show solidarity with Ukraine by imposing immediate massive coordinated sanctions against Russia, isolating Russia in all possible international fora, supporting Ukraine with weapons, protective equipment, fuel, and whatever necessary," she added.

Ms Zelenko said military support is critical to Ukraine, pointing out that thousands of Ukrainians have joined the territorial defence forces.

"No one knows what will be the outcome of this conflict. This is a full-fledged war, full-scaled invasion.

"It means the losses are huge and we very much hope that we will have enough strength, enough defensive weapons to be able to defend ourselves and it will be enough for us to prevail and win." 

Russian forces invaded Ukraine by land, air and sea on Thursday in the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War II, prompting tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

Reports were streaming in of fierce fighting across multiple fronts in Ukraine, with Russian troops advancing towards Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Multiple nations have denounced Moscow's actions and have imposed sanctions targeting banks, military exports and members of President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.

However, the sanctions stopped short of cutting Russia off from the Swift global interbank payments system. Such a move will make it tough for European creditors to get their money back and Russia has, in any case, been building up an alternative payment system.

Ms Zelenko's call echoed that of her counterpart in Japan, who said Ukraine needed more anti-aircraft munitions to defend against Russian missiles.

Reuters reported Ambassador Sergiy Korsunsky as saying Ukraine was well defended against tank attacks but needed Stinger missiles and other anti-aircraft supplies to defend against cruise missiles raining down on the country.

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When asked if this is the beginning of a long drawn-out conflict, Ms Zelenko said that depended on the reaction of the world as well as the readiness of Ukraine's Western partners in trying to disengage Russia.

"We will stay united, stay firm and we hope there will be a solution," she said.

"The whole security architecture of the world is at stake. We need to stay vigilant and to act now."

Ms Zelenko was also heartened by the support from the Singapore Government and citizens in trying to provide humanitarian aid.

"We see lots of messages (of support) from Singaporeans... trying to find ways to assist in this difficult situation."

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