Ukraine deems strong ties with ASEAN important

ISTANBUL – Developing strong ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is among the significant components of Ukraine’s Asia strategy, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told ASEAN leaders recently.

“ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi and I met in Phnom Penh to strengthen cooperation between Ukraine and Southeast Asia in the areas of trade, food security, and digital transformation. Developing strong ties with ASEAN is an important part of Ukraine’s Asia strategy,” Kuleba said on Twitter.

Ukraine and ASEAN are connected by “traditional ties of friendship and mutual respect,” said a statement from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

The statement also confirmed Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, a peace pact among Southeast Asian countries established by ASEAN founding members.

“The accession of our state to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia will create new political, economic and cultural opportunities for our states, businesses and citizens,” said the statement, quoting Kuleba.

Kuleba and Hoi agreed on specific steps to help “deepen cooperation between Ukraine and Asean in the fields of trade, digital transformation, agriculture, and strengthening political dialogue and mutual support,” it added.

“Dmytro Kuleba separately called on Asean to demand from Russia the continuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which plays a key role in ensuring global food security,” the statement concluded.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on November 2 that Moscow is rejoining the Black Sea grain deal reached in July.

Türkiye and Russia announced Moscow’s return to the deal following mediation by Ankara and the UN, which had suspended its participation in citing alleged “Ukrainian attacks” on the infrastructure and its Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol. (Anadolu)