Ukraine envoy calls for S. Korea’s support, ‘massive’ sanctions for Russian invasion

Ukraine’s ambassador to Seoul called Friday for South Korea and other partners to stand united in sanctioning and isolating Russia for its invasion of his country, saying the “future of the world order” is at stake in the armed conflict.

Ambassador Dmytro Ponomarenko used a press conference in Seoul to drum up support for his country, including military and financial aid, not to mention solidarity in imposing “massive, coordinated” sanctions against Moscow, Yonhap news agency reported.

“We urge the international community to show solidarity with Ukraine by imposing immediately the massive coordinated sanctions against Russia and isolating Russia in all possible international fora,” he said.

The ambassador put the conflict in Ukraine in a broader geopolitical context, trying to hammer home the need for South Korea and other countries to throw their support behind his country.

“Now we are defending not only the lives and security of Ukrainian citizens, but also security of citizens of the entire Europe and the future of the world order,” the ambassador said.

Ponomarenko expressed appreciation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s outspoken support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and his government’s pledge to join international sanctions against Russia.

Though Ukraine has not yet asked for foreign troops on its soil, its military and people are in urgent need of military assistance, including weapons, protective equipment, fuel and whatever necessary to “counter the biggest army in the continent,” he said.

“We would also be grateful if the Republic of Korea, being a highly developed, hi-tech country, gave us a hand in strengthening our cyber-security capabilities,” he said, referring to South Korea’s official name.

The envoy said the worst case scenario for Ukraine will be having a Kremlin-backed “puppet government” and that his country wants to be part of NATO, which is included in its Constitution, to prevent such a case.

On Friday, foreign embassies in South Korea posted messages on social media to draw support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Christopher Del Corso, the U.S. embassy’s charge d’affaires ad interim, posted a photo of his meeting with Ponomarenko at the Ukrainian embassy in his Twitter message under the hashtag #StandwithUkraine.

Maria Castillo, the EU ambassador to South Korea, also met Ponomarenko along with other EU ambassadors and posted a photo of them holding the Ukrainian and EU flags together to express their resolution to stand by Ukraine.

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