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Thailand to remain neutral on Russia-Ukraine conflict

Jay Shine

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Vladimir Putin discussed bilateral cooperation prospects with Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha in May 2016. Credit: Пресс-служба Президента России | Wikimedia

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says Thailand will keep a neutral stance toward the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Speaking to MPs during their cabinet meeting yesterday, Prayut said they must consider Thailand’s the long-standing relations with Russia and tread carefully, an unnamed government official told the Bangkok Post.

“We need to be composed and make decisions carefully. Thailand must maintain a neutral stance and bring Thais in Ukraine back home quickly.”

After yesterday’s cabinet meeting, Prayut told reporters that Thailand will stick with Asean’s stance on the conflict. The grouping of Southeast Asian nations has called for “dialogue” among all parties involved to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. They have not rebuked Russia for its invasion of another sovereign nation.

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“It is about the regional grouping’s decision. We need to keep a balance. But most importantly, we have been concerned about the safety of people in countries involved in the conflict. We also have to ensure Thais in those countries are safe.”

His comments came at the first round of Thai evacuees from Ukraine prepared to board flights home to Thailand. Today 96 evacuated Thais are expected to arrive from Bucharest and Warsaw. Dozens of other Thai citizens remain trapped in Ukrainian cities as the conflict enters it sixth day.

Cabinet ministers discussed the issue extensively during their meeting yesterday, after being pressured by 25 ambassadors in Thailand to rebuke Russia and side with Ukraine.

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On Monday, 25 ambassadors met with the Foreign Ministry’s permanent secretary Thani Thongphakdi. They requested that the Thai government speak out against Russian’s invasion of Ukraine and urged Thailand to support the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution on the crisis, which is expected to be voted on this week at the UN’s headquarters in New York.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

 

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    A longtime expat in Asia with a degree in journalism and creative writing. Highlights include writing for Condé Nast Traveller and Apple Music. In his spare time, Jay enjoys writing poetry, brewing traditional Chinese tea and lounging with his calico soi cat, Almond.

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