Ukraine allies thank Philippines for UN vote against Russian invasion

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2023 04:52 PM

MANILA — The ambassadors of France and Germany thanked the Philippines for voting in favor of a resolution before the United Nations (UN) General Assembly that demanded Russia to leave Ukraine.

On the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz said rules-based international order was "at stake" in the UN vote. 

“We are grateful to the Philippines for their vote at the UN General Assembly to support this rules-based international order,” Boccoz said. 

Meanwhile, German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel said Russian aggression was “against democracies worldwide” and a “threat to all countries.” 

“Russia has violated the most elementary rule of the international order, that by making its war against Ukraine, it overall attacked the international rules-based order [that] all, including the Philippines, depend on for peace and stability. If we accept such an aggression, it is just a matter of time that other countries become victims of such aggressors,” Reiffenstuel said. 

“Russia’s war is not just an aggression against Ukraine but an aggression against democracies worldwide. This is a threat to all countries because what is at stake is our countries’ independence and sovereignty.”

A Ukrainian citizen who volunteers for We Save Ukraine Foundation spoke of the importance of not forgetting the war and the damage it has brought.

Lidiia Koval, who is visiting Manila to see her sister, was guest at a film showing and panel discussion on the war’s anniversary hosted by Alliance Française de Manille where she recounted how her home city of Dnipro was hit by Russian missile on Jan. 14, 2023.

The We Save Ukraine Foundation helped clear roads, prepare hot beverages and food for survivors and first responders. 

“I spent the following night volunteering... and it was one of the hardest things that I had to do,” Koval said, assisted by her sister with translation. 

“I will never forget the desperation, pain and anger I felt that day,” she said.

The foundation has been supporting Ukrainian military and civilians, including providing shelters for displaced families.

Lidiia expressed the hope that her story would encourage more aid for Ukraine.

“Thank you and your countries for your ongoing support of the Ukranian people, for having me here today and hearing my story,” Koval said. “I hope that sharing my experience will encourage more action to help Ukraine.”

She is set to return to Ukraine in March. 

“I don’t want to find shelter, I have my own home” she said.

“Every Ukranian will stand for every inch of our land, it is ours.”