With any de-escalation of the tensions, Thailand stands to gain economically while the elected government after the next poll will win more international recognition for the decision to back the UN resolution, reports Bangkok Post.
Virot Ali, an international relations academic at Thammasat University, said that Thailand’s vote in support of the UN resolution represented a departure from its previously neutral stance.
Since international pressure is mounting and Thailand is now in election mode with the transition of its power structure, the kingdom has now attached importance to its relations with other countries and its efforts to revitalise the economy, he said.
"With these factors at play, the country has to take sides. Thailand will not benefit from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Efforts to end the conflict will at least ease geopolitical tensions and the energy price crisis," he said.
"We can no longer resist international pressure over the Russia-Ukraine conflict. We have no other option but to join calls for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine,’’ Mr Virot said.
"As long as the conflict continues, it is likely that China and the US will also join the fray, which could deal a blow to Thailand.
"Defusing the Russia-Ukraine tensions would put Thailand at an advantage," he said.
Mr Virot added that the impact of the Russia-Uraine war on the global energy situation would also stunt Thailand’s economic growth.
As the general election, tentatively scheduled for May 7, is approaching, Thailand also wanted to show the world at the UN meeting that the country acted in line with international principles, suggesting that the poll will be held in line with democratic values.
"In light of this, an elected government will gain more legitimacy in the eyes of the international community," he said.
Panitan Wattanayagorn, an ex-international relations scholar at Chulalongkorn University, echoed the view that Thailand’s support of the UN resolution has underscored its commitment to respecting international laws, the UN’s role in the conflict, and the principle of nonaggression
Since Thailand is among the 141 countries supporting the UN resolution, Thailand can avoid being singled out for confronting Russia as well as its allies such as China and India, he said.
The UN resolution would also help de-escalate tensions among Western powers while the country would benefit from selling agricultural goods and finding cheaper sources of energy more easily.
The UN voted overwhelmingly on Thursday (Feb 23) to demand Russia immediately and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine, marking the one-year anniversary of the war with a call for a "just and lasting" peace.
Ukraine earned strong backing in a nonbinding vote that saw 141 of the 193 UN members in support, seven opposed and 32, including China and India, abstaining.
Coming on the eve of the first anniversary of the brutal war, support for Kyiv has little-changed from that of last October when 143 countries voted to condemn Russia’s declared annexation of four Ukraine regions.
"This vote shows that the international community stands with Ukraine," said European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
Suriya Chindawongse, permanent representative of Thailand to the UN, delivered a speech before the UN vote, calling on all parties to step up diplomatic efforts to engage in dialogue to achieve a peaceful negotiated settlement as an exit to the Ukraine conflict.
Capricornball | 25 February 2023 - 18:06:13