SINGAPORE: Mr Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, met President Tharman Shanmugaratnam in Davos, Switzerland, where both are present for the 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Mr Zelenskyy, whose leadership of Ukraine won praise around the globe after Russia invaded the country nearly two years ago, expressed in a post on X on Tuesday (Jan 16) how thankful he was for Singapore’s help.

Posting a photo of himself shaking hands with President Tharman, he wrote that it was the first time he had met the Singapore leader.

“I am grateful to Singapore for its humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, as well as its support for sanctions and UN resolutions.

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I invited Singapore to join the Peace Formula and the Global Peace Summit preparations,” wrote President Zelenskyy.

He went on to say that they discussed cybersecurity and agriculture, which he called prospective areas of cooperation. “I emphasized Ukraine’s successful defense of free navigation in the Black Sea, which allows us to remain a global food security guarantor.

Ukraine is interested in developing ties with Singapore and other countries in the region,” he added.

In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24, 2022, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan called it a “clear and gross” violation of international norms and a completely unacceptable precedent, as well as an “existential issue” for Singapore.

“A world order based on might is right or where the strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must – such a world order would be profoundly inimical to the security and survival of small states,” he added.

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Shortly afterwards, Mr Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s  Permanent Representative to the United Nations, thanked Singapore for the support it has given his country amid the ongoing Russian invasion of his country.

“Majulah Singapura,” he tweeted, posting a photo of himself standing in front of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Singapore to the  United Nations in New York, lit up in blue and yellow, the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Naturally, Russia was not too thrilled over Singapore’s support for Ukraine.

The following month, the Russian ambassador to Singapore called the country’s critical stance against Russia and the sanctions Singapore has imposed a “mistake.”

Mr Nikolay Kudashev, Russia’s envoy, said that Asian countries should take care of issues of “primary importance” such as recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic instead of the ongoing conflict in Europe. /TISG

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