Singapore 'strongly condemns' Russia's invasion of Ukraine: Lee Hsien Loong

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a group photo at the ASEAN-Russia Summit in Singapore, November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a group photo at the ASEAN-Russia Summit in Singapore on 14 November, 2018. (Reuters file photo)

SINGAPORE — Singapore strongly condemns Russia's invasion of Ukraine, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (28 February) in a strongly-worded Facebook post.

The city-state joins a growing list of countries around the world that have condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which began on 24 February.

Lee stressed that Ukraine's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity must be respected.

"If international relations are based on 'might is right', the world will be a dangerous place for small countries like Singapore. This is why Singapore staunchly supports international law and the UN Charter, which prohibits acts of aggression against a sovereign state," he added.

When treaties and diplomacy fail, Singapore cannot rely on others to protect it, Lee stressed.

"We must never lose the capability to defend ourselves. National Service and a strong, operationally ready SAF (Singapore Armed Force) is our best deterrent against aggressors," he noted.

Being a small country, Singapore strives to maintain good relations with all countries big and small, Lee said. It does not choose sides but chart its course based on consistent principles and long-term national interests, he added.

Singapore must remain a united and cohesive nation, noting that "domestic politics must stop at our shores", Lee said.

"We have been lucky to enjoy peace and stability now for more than 50 years. Russia’s attack on Ukraine reminds us how precious this is, and how important it is for all of us who call Singapore home to work together to preserve this happy state of affairs."

Lee's post comes hours after Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan announced in Parliament that Singapore will impose export controls on items that can be used directly as weapons in Ukraine, as well as certain financial sanctions on Russia.

"We cannot accept one country attacking another without justification, arguing that his independence was the result of 'historical errors and crazy decisions'. Such a rationale would go against the internationally recognised legitimacy and territorial integrity of many countries, including Singapore," said Dr Balakrishnan.

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