Thursday, August 18

Saifuddin: Malaysia does not recognise unilateral sanctions, remains non-aligned to any sides

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Saifuddin speaks during a special interview in Wisma Putra, Putrajaya on May 7, 2022. – Bernama photo

PUTRAJAYA (May 8): Malaysia does not recognise any unilateral sanctions on any country, unless the resolution for the sanctions was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah.

“This has always been Malaysia’s principle. If there is a sanction it has to go through the UN, and if the resolution is passed by the UN then as member of the UN you have to respect and abide (by it),” he told the media in a special interview at his office here, Saturday.

The minister was commenting on the wide ranging international sanctions imposed by the West and its allies on Russia following the latter’s ongoing war with Ukraine.

On the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Saifuddin said Malaysia has maintained its stand of non-alignment to any sides but at the same time has never condoned any aggression by any country that threatened the sovereignty of another country.

“We keep on encouraging both sides to end this conflict. We know that there are people who are working to get the two sides to end this conflict. We are not involved to that extend but we do engage various actors who are actively working on this,” he said.

Commenting further on the impact of economic sanctions on Malaysians, especially students studying in Russia, Saifuddin said for now, their welfare and safety were taken care of.

For now, Malaysians in Russia can still make financial transactions through the Union Pay service. However, Russian banks that conduct Union Pay services are limited to only three banks so far.

He added that the Foreign Ministry was closely monitoring the situation and it was constantly receiving feedback on the latest developments on the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

So far there are 816 Malaysians in Russia. They comprise 779 students and 37 expatriates.

According to UN estimates, at least 3,309 civilians have been killed while almost 3,500 were injured since Russia began its war on Ukraine on Feb 24. More than 5.7 million people reportedly have fled to other countries, with some 7.7 million people internally displaced. – Bernama