Philippines and Ukraine pledge to strengthen relationship in Marcos-Zelensky meeting

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met at Malacañan on Monday to strengthen diplomatic relations between their countries amidst Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine.

Zelensky arrived in Manila for a one-day working visit after attending the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, where he sought support for a global peace conference in Switzerland and appealed for more military aid for Ukraine.

During their meeting, Zelensky expressed gratitude for the Philippines’ support of Ukraine and Marcos’ stance on the issues affecting the country. He thanked the Philippines for its clear position on Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian territories and for its support.

In response, Marcos assured Zelensky of Manila’s continued assistance to Kyiv in promoting peace and finding a political resolution to the conflict in Ukraine. He described the war between Russia and Ukraine as “unacceptable” and reaffirmed the Philippines’ opposition to Russia’s invasion.

The Philippines and Ukraine have had diplomatic ties for 32 years, with Ukraine planning to open its embassy in Manila this year. In 2022, Ukraine ranked as the Philippines’ 90th trading partner, 119th export market, and 76th import source.

Zelensky also urged leaders in the Asia-Pacific region to join the Swiss-organized peace summit to garner international support for ending Russia’s war on Ukraine. Over 100 countries and organizations have signed up for the summit, with Marcos expected to participate.

In Singapore, Marcos attended the Shangri-La Dialogue and criticized China for its actions violating sovereignty and jurisdiction. He emphasized that Filipinos do not intend to yield to illegal and aggressive actions.

The ongoing war in Ukraine has impacted the Filipino community in the country, with the number of Filipinos residing there decreasing due to the conflict.

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