President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)
South Korea will provide emergency humanitarian aid of $10 million for Ukrainian citizens and refugees, President Moon Jae-in said after a 30-minute phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Thursday night.
“We are on the phone again under a very unfortunate situation,” Moon was quoted as saying during the call, and expressed his deepest condolences to the victims and their bereaved families of the war in Ukraine. “We pay tribute to the courage and sacrifice of President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people who are resolutely fighting against the aggression.”
Moon said he hoped the funds would be used to procure medical supplies and would liaise with Ukraine, neighboring governments and international organizations on delivering the aid.
South Korea has joined the international community in piling pressure on Russia over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, including imposing financial sanctions on major Russian banks.
During the phone call, President Zelenskyy explained the situation in Ukraine and requested South Korea’s support in helping the country overcome and defend the crisis, according to the Korean presidential office.
In response, Moon said, “Ukraine’s sovereignty and territory should be preserved and Korea supports peaceful efforts through dialogue.”
Moon added that the Korean government has taken “special measures of stay” in consideration of the humanitarian situation so that Ukrainian citizens staying in Korea can remain until the situation has stabilized.
As for the some 40 Korean citizens currently residing in Ukraine, Moon also asked Zelenskyy to ensure their safety. Zelenskyy agreed to pass on Moon’s concerns to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for follow-up.
Following the phone conversation, Zelenskyy tweeted that he had informed Moon about the “counteraction to Russia” and the “crimes of the aggressor.” He thanked South Korea for supporting his country and imposing sanctions against Russia. “We will continue to work together building an anti-war coalition around the world,” he said.
Moon responded on social media praising Zelenskyy’s strong leadership of a country going through a tragic war.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine who have risen resolutely to defend their country,” Moon said.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org