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Ministerial statement: Vivian Balakrishnan on Russia's invasion of Ukraine

20:52 Min

Singapore strongly urges Russia to cease its offensive military action in Ukraine immediately and to work for a peaceful settlement. It also calls for safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and those in need. Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan issued these calls in Parliament on Monday (Feb 28). He also highlighted the key lessons for Singapore. He said Russia's invasion of Ukraine demonstrates how quickly a vulnerable country can be overrun, especially when confronting a larger and more powerful opponent. "You cannot depend on others to protect your country," he said. He stressed that Singapore must never lose the ability to defend itself. That is why it has invested consistently to build up a credible and strong Singapore Armed Forces and maintain National Service as a fundamental element of nationhood. Singapore must continue to work to maintain good relations with all its neighbours and big powers. It must also maintain unity and cohesion, and ensure that domestic politics "stop at our shores". Dr Balakrishnan also said Singaporeans must understand that standing up for national interests may come with some costs and must be prepared to deal with the consequences. Singapore will block certain Russian banks and financial transactions connected to Russia. The specific measures are being worked out. He urged Singaporeans to "come together" to stand up and uphold the principles which are core to the country's survival as an independent sovereign nation. He also gave an update on Singaporeans in Ukraine. Seven left Ukraine by commercial options. Another three made their way across the border to Poland after Russia started its invasion. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in touch with eight who are in several cities. It is aware of at least one more Singaporean in Ukraine and is trying to contact this person.

Singapore strongly urges Russia to cease its offensive military action in Ukraine immediately and to work for a peaceful settlement. It also calls for safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and those in need. Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan issued these calls in Parliament on Monday (Feb 28). He also highlighted the key lessons for Singapore. He said Russia's invasion of Ukraine demonstrates how quickly a vulnerable country can be overrun, especially when confronting a larger and more powerful opponent. "You cannot depend on others to protect your country," he said. He stressed that Singapore must never lose the ability to defend itself. That is why it has invested consistently to build up a credible and strong Singapore Armed Forces and maintain National Service as a fundamental element of nationhood. Singapore must continue to work to maintain good relations with all its neighbours and big powers. It must also maintain unity and cohesion, and ensure that domestic politics "stop at our shores". Dr Balakrishnan also said Singaporeans must understand that standing up for national interests may come with some costs and must be prepared to deal with the consequences. Singapore will block certain Russian banks and financial transactions connected to Russia. The specific measures are being worked out. He urged Singaporeans to "come together" to stand up and uphold the principles which are core to the country's survival as an independent sovereign nation. He also gave an update on Singaporeans in Ukraine. Seven left Ukraine by commercial options. Another three made their way across the border to Poland after Russia started its invasion. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in touch with eight who are in several cities. It is aware of at least one more Singaporean in Ukraine and is trying to contact this person.

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