Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity 'must be respected', says Singapore as Russia recognises breakaway regions
SINGAPORE: Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity "must be respected", a spokesperson from Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Tuesday (Feb 22) after Russia's move to recognise two breakaway regions in the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday recognised the rebel-held regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine as independent entities and ordered Russian troops into the territories.
Mr Putin's announcement followed weeks of a reported growing Russian military build-up at Russia's border with Ukraine, and has heightened fears of war. The United States said it is coordinating with allies and will impose new sanctions against Russia.
"Singapore is gravely concerned at the escalation of tensions at the Ukraine-Russia border and the Russian decision to recognise two breakaway Ukrainian regions," the MFA spokesperson said.
"The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected.
"All parties concerned should continue to pursue dialogue, including diplomatic means, towards a peaceful settlement of the dispute, in accordance with international law, and avoid action that will further raise tensions in the region."
The ministry on Feb 13 advised Singaporeans in Ukraine to leave the country "as soon as possible via commercial means while it is still possible to do so" amid heightening tensions.
Singapore does not have a diplomatic mission in Ukraine and there is "no guarantee" that MFA will be in a position to help Singaporeans leave the country if conflict occurs, it added.