Ukraine’s Zelenskiy Thanks Philippines’ Marcos for Support

Jam Sta Rosa/POOL via REUTERS
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy shakes hands with Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. at the Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, June 3, 2024.

MANILA (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr in Manila on Monday and thanked him for his support and “clear position” on Russia’s invasion of its territories.

The two leaders met at the Philippine presidential palace, after Zelenskiy made an unscheduled appearance at Asia’s biggest security conference in Singapore on the weekend, his second visit to Asia since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Zelenskiy, who wore a black shirt and cargo pants, marked his first visit to the Philippines since his election in 2019.

“Thank you for this invitation and we are very thankful to be in your country which supports Ukraine, our territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Zelenskiy told Marcos.

“Thank you so much of your big word, and clear position about us, about this Russian occupation of our territories,” he added.

Ukraine will also open an embassy in Manila this year, Zelenskiy said.

Zelenskiy addressed the last day of the Shangri-La Dialogue forum, asking for support and participation at a summit in Switzerland planned for June 15-16 aimed at bringing peace to his war-ravaged nation.

Marcos delivered the keynote address at the forum, criticizing illegal, coercive and aggressions in the South China Sea, without naming China.

Marcos told Zelenskiy he was “honored” the Ukrainian leader visited Manila.

“It’s a great pleasure to meet, to discuss, issues that are common for both countries, and hopefully, we find ways for both of us together,” Marcos said.

Russia, which called its actions in Ukraine a “special operation,” has not been invited to the planned summit in Switzerland and China has confirmed it will not attend.

Zelenskiy has urged U.S. President Joe Biden to attend, but Washington has not confirmed who it will send.

While in Singapore, Zelenskiy told a news conference that he was not able to meet the Chinese delegation at the conference and was disappointed that Beijing would not attend the summit.