Kyiv has pending request: a Marcos-Zelenskyy phone call | Global News

Kyiv has pending request: a Marcos-Zelenskyy phone call

/ 05:46 AM January 12, 2023

Nearly a year under Russian invasion, Ukraine is counting on the Philippines to support the establishment of a “special international tribunal” that will hold Russian President Vladimir Putin to account for alleged war crimes perpetrated on the Ukrainian people.

For Denys Mykhailuk, counselor of the Embassy of Ukraine in Malaysia, the Philippines and his Eastern European country have a shared experience of “fighting” more powerful states.

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Mykhailuk did not elaborate when he made this analogy during an online press briefing he conducted from Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, but he was apparently alluding to Manila’s maritime dispute with Beijing in the West Philippine Sea.

He said “the interests of the Philippines are clear” in joining international efforts to set up such a tribunal that would put a check on powerful states committing acts of aggression against less powerful nations.

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The envisioned tribunal is part of the Ukraine “Peace Plan” to be proposed to the United Nations next month, he said.

Pending since June 1

According to Mykhailuk, Kyiv has been requesting the Philippine foreign affairs department since June 1, 2022, for a “phone conversation” between Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and then President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Ukraine has since made at least a dozen follow-ups on the request, he said, but “I haven’t gotten any answer from the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs); they are telling [me that] everything is under consideration.”

Told of Mykhailuk’s remarks about the pending request, DFA spokesperson Tessie Daza on Wednesday said the department would have “no comment on the statement.”

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After Mr. Marcos assumed office on June 30, the Russian ambassador to the Philippines, Marat Pavlov, was one of the first foreign diplomats to meet him, assuring his administration of Moscow’s readiness to help the Philippines meet its oil and energy needs.

But in November 2022, Marcos joined other leaders in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in calling for an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, denouncing it as “unacceptable.”

Mykhailuk said Ukraine was now hoping to gain Philippine support on a “political level,” referring to the setup of the international tribunal and other objectives set in the Peace Plan.

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