Singapore ‘gravely concerned’ about heightened tensions at Ukraine-Russia border

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Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a video address to the nation, following the initiative of the country's lower house of parliament and security council to recognise two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities, in Moscow, Russia, in a still image taken from video footage released February 21, 2022. Russian Pool/Reuters TV via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a video address to the nation on 21 February 2022, following the country's recognition of two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities. (SCREENSHOT: Russian Pool/Reuters TV)

SINGAPORE — Singapore said on Tuesday (22 February) that it is “gravely concerned” at the escalation of tensions at the Ukraine-Russia border and the Russian decision to recognise two breakaway Ukrainian regions.

“The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected,” Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement.

“All parties concerned should continue to pursue dialogue, including diplomatic means, towards a peaceful settlement of the dispute, in accordance with international law, and avoid action that will further raise tensions in the region,” MFA added.

The statement comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into the two regions held by rebels in the eastern part of Ukraine, after he recognised them as independent states, media reports said. The troops would be involved in “peacekeeping” in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, according to Russia.

The United Nations Security Council has held an emergency meeting, during which US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield dismissed Russia's claims about the troops’ "peacekeeping" role, the BBC reported.

Defending Russia’s decision, Russia's UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya referred to Ukrainian aggression and said, "Allowing a new bloodbath in the Donbas is something we do not intend to do,” according to the BBC report.

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