BBM: Phone call request from Ukraine’s Zelensky received, due for scheduling
MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday said that the initiative of the Ukranian government to set up a telephone conversation between him and Ukranine President Volodymyr Zelensky has been received and is only awaiting a schedule.
Denys Mykhailiuk, the Chargé d’affaires of the Ukraine Embassy in Malaysia, earlier claimed that the Philippines did not respond to requests for a phone call between the two leaders to discuss bilateral relations.
“There was talk of it a couple of months ago pero wala pang napag-usapan. That’s why nagulat kami when the special envoy came out and said na hindi pa sinasagot. Sinagot namin, but we couldn’t get it scheduled,” he told reporters.
(There was talk of it a couple of months ago, but we haven’t talked about it in detail. That’s why we were shocked when the special envoy came out and said this has not yet been answered. We responded, but we couldn’t get it scheduled.)
Marcos said he has “no problem with talking to President Zelensky” as he took note of the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.
“Of course, again, on the side of this, that remains the same. But any expressions of support that he might feel is needed, we are happy to provide it,” he added.
Mykhailiuk has since apologized for “any misunderstanding that was caused by not very correct or misunderstood speaking” about the standing invitation for a phone call between Marcos and Zelensky.
Playing safe on Ukraine’s peace plan
Although Marcos said he is willing to provide support to Ukraine in its bid for peace, he distanced the Philippines from any involvement in the European country’s 10-point peace plan.
“That’s not for us to decide. Should there be talks between Ukraine and Russia, they will talk about that. We support any effort towards peace. Anything. As long as the killings and war end. Let’s start with that first. However they will do it, what they will do with the territories […] that is really clearly between the two countries,” he argued, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino.
Zelensky has been actively discussing and promoting Ukraine’s peace formula with other world leaders as he called for them to hold a Global Peace Summit based on the matter.
Russia rejected the peace proposal in December, reiterating that it would not give up any territory it has taken by force, around a fifth of Ukraine, which it says it has annexed.
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