By Azer Parrocha and Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a phone call on Monday that he supports Ukraine’s effort to reach a “peaceful resolution” to its ongoing conflict with Russia.
“I had the pleasure of talking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy yesterday (Monday),” Marcos said on his official Twitter account on Tuesday morning after the Ukrainian leader tweeted about it the previous day.
He also expressed admiration for the nationalism shown by Ukrainians.
“I told him that we in the Philippines are watching with admiration, the bravery and the nationalism that has been displayed by the Ukrainians during this crisis and that we join in his effort to reach a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict in his country. Mr. President, we are with you in your search for peace,” he added.
Zelenskyy, who has long been seeking a phone conversation with Marcos, was the first to tweet about their call on Monday night.
“Had the first phone call in the history of bilateral relations with President of the Philippines @bongbongmarcos,” he said.
“Thanked him for supporting sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We discussed further deepening of cooperation, in particular on international platforms,” he added.
Last month, Ukrainian Charges D’Affaires of the Embassy of Ukraine in Malaysia Denys Mykhailiuk said they have been trying to have the two leaders speak to each other since Marcos assumed office in June 2022 but failed to receive a response.
Marcos later clarified that he did not snub Zelenskyy’s request for a phone conversation and has always been willing to talk with him.
Mykhailiuk then apologized to his Philippine counterparts for the “misunderstanding.”
In November last year, Marcos described the Russia-Ukraine war as “unacceptable” and reiterated his call for both nations to end the conflict diplomatically.
“…War is unacceptable and we ask all parties involved, there were several speeches that I made, urging that peace be brought back to Ukraine and that the confrontation be brought to the diplomatic space,” he said.
Ukraine has been in conflict with Russia since February 2022, leading to the death of thousands and driving millions of Ukrainians to flee the country. (PNA)