Russia-Ukraine crisis

In Philippines, envoys band together to support Ukraine independence day

Sofia Tomacruz
In Philippines, envoys band together to support Ukraine independence day

BATTLE. Ukrainian service members install a national flag on Snake (Zmiinyi) Island, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Odesa region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released July 7, 2022.

Press service of the Ukrainian Armed Forces/Handout via REUTERS

(1st UPDATE) ‘We have greater resolve than ever to stand with Ukraine and affirm its right to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity,’ say 18 embassies in a rare joint statement

MANILA, Philippines – Eighteen envoys in the Philippines joined voices to declare their countries’ solidarity with Ukraine as it celebrated its 31st anniversary of independence on Wednesday, August 24. 

The rare joint statement issued by embassies of countries including Japan, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, comes as war in the European country marked its sixth month. Since Russia’s invasion began last February 24, tens of thousands of Ukraine’s citizens have been killed and several cities and towns have been destroyed.

“We have greater resolve than ever to stand with Ukraine and affirm its right to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to defend itself, and to choose its own future,” the group said. 

Ukraine’s independence day has taken on added significance as its forces continue to resist Russian troops feared to stage new attacks on the capital Kyiv. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy earlier warned of the possibility of “repugnant Russian provocations” and “brutal strikes” by Moscow as Ukraine celebrated the occasion. 

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On Wednesday, envoys in the Philippines condemned Russia’s actions, saying they will not recognize its “continued attempts to re-draw borders by force, which is a blatant violation of international law, and breach of the United Nations Charter.”

“We reaffirm our strong opposition to any unilateral action that seeks to undermine the international rules-based system that underpins global peace, prosperity, and security,” they said. 

Beyond Ukraine, the consequence of war in Europe included an increase in prices of food, fuel, and fertilizer, among others. Rising prices have hit Filipinos struggling to cope and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In response, envoys in the Philippines renewed their commitment to address the impact of war on vulnerable populations. They also vowed to support support democratic institutions, “including free media and countering disinformation and interference in democratic processes.”

“We reaffirm our strong opposition to any unilateral action that seeks to undermine the international rules-based system that underpins global peace, prosperity, and security,” they said.

Among countries that signed the joint statement include the following:

  • HK Yu PSM, ambassador-designate of Australia      
  • Michel Parys, ambassador of Belgium                
  • Peter MacArthur, ambassador of Canada
  • Dalibor Mička, chargé d’affaires, a.i., embassy of the Czech Republic  
  • Peter Dalberg, chargé d’affaires, a. i., Royal Danish Embassy      
  • Laura Hassinen, chargé d’affaires, a. i., embassy of Finland
  • Fabrice Fize, chargé d’Affaires a.i., embassy of France
  • Laura Oexle, chargé d’affaires, a. i., embassy of Germany
  • Kazuhiko Koshikawa, ambassador of Japan
  • Marielle Geraedts, ambassador-designate of the Netherlands                                                               
  • Peter Kell, ambassador of New Zealand
  • William Westerveld Jensen, chargé d’affaires, a.i., Royal Norwegian Embassy
  • Anna Krzak-Danel, chargé d’affaires, a. i., Embassy of Poland
  • Carmela Barcia Bustelo, chargé d’affaires, a.i., Embassy of Spain
  • Annika Thunborg, ambassador of Sweden
  • Laura Beaufils, ambassador of the United Kingdom               
  • MaryKay Loss Carlson, ambassador of the United States
  • Luc Véron, ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union
Russia’s embassy in the Philippines on Thursday, August 25, accused envoys who signed the joint statement of using “black propaganda” against Moscow, calling their actions “provocative” as it continued to falsely claim Ukraine was turning into a “Nazi terrorist state.” This claim has been debunked by historians. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs, meanwhile, said Secretary Enrique Manalo sent greetings to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Ukraine’s parliament had declared the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991 after the failed putsch in Moscow. A referendum in December 1991 later saw a majority of Ukrainians vote in favor to support the Act of Declaration of Independence. – Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.