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Thailand affirms neutral stance

BANGKOK: Thailand has confirmed its neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, saying it remains committed to a balanced foreign policy that is in the country’s best interests.

CoronavirusCOVID-19politicsRussianUkraine
By Bangkok Post

Friday 11 March 2022, 08:35AM


A Ukrainian solider is seen in position in Kyiv on Wednesday (Mar 9). Photo: AFP

A Ukrainian solider is seen in position in Kyiv on Wednesday (Mar 9). Photo: AFP

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana clarified the government’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine situation yesterday (Mar 10), saying that since the start of the conflict, Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had laid down a policy of supporting dialogue to find a peaceful resolution in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Evacuating Thais out of Ukraine has been a top priority and it has been carried out successfully, he said.

As a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Thailand has also made its position clear via a statement by the bloc’s foreign ministers calling on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and make the utmost effort to pursue dialogue through all channels to de-escalate tension, reports the Bangkok Post.

Given the threat posed by COVID-19, Thailand does not want to see any international conflict and tension to compound the public health crisis, and strongly believes a solution to the conflict can be achieved through peaceful means, Thanakorn said.

Tanee Sangrat, spokesman of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said the ministry has approved B2 million for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, after it received a request for help from the Ukrainian embassy in Bangkok.

Tanee said the donation will be sent to the Thai embassy in the Polish capital Warsaw, which borders Ukraine.

The money will be used to buy daily necessities for people in Ukraine affected by the fighting. The items will be handed out via the Ukrainian Red Cross Society or other international organisations, he said.

This marks the government’s second humanitarian donation to Ukraine. The first donation worth B1mn was made back in 2019 to assist in procuring humanitarian and medical relief for people displaced in the country’s eastern region. That donation was made via the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Thai Red Cross Society, Tanee said.

Pairoj Chotikasathien, director-general of the Department of Employment, said he has ordered a delay on any Thai workers planning to go to Russia.

There are currently 441 Thai workers in the country, with some paying for travel expenses out of their own pocket, Pairoj said. Most of them are spa workers or massage therapists.

“Travelling to work in Russia is dangerous so Thai workers must wait until the situation eases,” he said.

He said Russia has closed its airspace to European Union countries and their allies that have imposed sanctions on it.

Therefore, commercial flights from those countries to Asia have to be rerouted, leading to longer travel times and higher ticket prices, he added.

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Den Alder | 12 March 2022 - 12:09:01

Christy, Thailand is the Italy of Asia, not Sweden. 

Kurt | 12 March 2022 - 09:05:55

Well, Thailand with her human rights records, still fishing boat slavery, RTP corruption/incompetence, rubber law discriminating class, flipflopping Constitutions, militair uniforms at every 'corner' indeed better remains silent in international matters, they are not interested anyway.

JohnC | 12 March 2022 - 08:52:47

If Russia decided to invade Thailand I'm sure this PM would just let roll over and let Putin scratch his stomach like a good little pet waiting for it's reward. Thai people REMEMBER THIS at the next election.

DeKaaskopp | 11 March 2022 - 13:44:57

@Kurt   Many airlines still offer flight tickets at special prices in order to fill up their seats. I personally just paid 500.-Euro less for a business class ticket compared to pre Covid times. Therefore your generalizing about prices is still nonsense. 

CaptainJack69 | 11 March 2022 - 12:08:35

The "United Nations Charter" is pretty clear in its universal condemnation of wholesale acts of war on sovereign states, never mind such war crimes as deliberately targeting civilian residential areas, bombing hospitals and the use of cluster munitions. No Mr. Prayut, you don't get to invoke the UN to justify your own political and economic machinations.

Nasa12 | 11 March 2022 - 11:06:54

How can you be neutral while thousands are killed by the Russians? The Russians started this war and must be held responsible. Be neutral is the same as you don’t care when innocent people are getting killed. SHAME ON YOU THAILAND !!!

Kurt | 11 March 2022 - 11:01:35

....Dek better sticks to reaction on my typos...  That requests no article  insight thinking.

Kurt | 11 March 2022 - 10:59:18

It were the European nations first declaring not to use Russian airspace after banning Belarus and Russia aviation over European countries. In a 'Thai way' reaction Russia closed, face saving,  her airspace. True that with rerouting comes longer travel times and higher ticket prices. ( special noted for DEK, who denied that in reaction on my earlier comment). Dek better sticks to reacting ...

christysweet | 11 March 2022 - 10:36:03

The Sweden of Asia. Disappointing, but necessary. To lose the meager trickle of Russian tourists would  hurt Thai people already badly ailing from two years of  a SARS outbreak. I shall remain neutral  on my  opinion of it. Let's just hope Putin gets what's coming to him- soon. 

Kurt | 11 March 2022 - 10:26:41

Thailand, 2 million Baht ( about 55,000 EURO). Fund rising on Dutch TV more than 100 Million Euro. Lost face in LOS.

Fascinated | 11 March 2022 - 09:52:13

Cowardly Custards, all in the name of potential tourist baht. Has Thailand EVER taken a stance against evil Empires. Nope- didn't think so I recollect Myanmar coming to Bkk for advice last year!

Nasa12 | 11 March 2022 - 09:15:41

Not B5 billions 8 Billions. 

Nasa12 | 11 March 2022 - 09:14:29

LOS B2 million - Norway B5 Billion last day for humanity too  Ukrainia.

 

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