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Thailand Chooses Neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

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The Government of Thailand has chosen neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, saying it remains committed to a balanced foreign policy that is in the nation’s best interests.

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a government spokesman, clarified the official government position on Russia-Ukraine on Thursday.

He said the government had adopted a policy of supporting dialogue to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, according to the Charter principles of the United Nations.

The evacuation of Thais out of Ukraine was the government’s top priority and which has been accomplished successfully, he said.

As a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Thailand has also made its position clear by urging all parties to exercise maximum restraint and make their best efforts to seek dialogue through all channels in order to de-escalate tensions.

Thailand does not want any international conflict or tension to compound the public health crisis. It is strongly convinced that an end to the conflict can be achieved peacefully, Mr. Thanakorn said.

Thailand Donates Money to Ukraine Red Cross

An official with the Foreign Affairs Ministry said 2 million baht (US$60,000) has been approved for humanitarian aid to Ukraine after the Ukrainian Embassy in Bangkok requested assistance.

He said the donation would go to the Thai embassy in Warsaw, the Polish capital that borders Ukraine.

The money is intended for daily necessities for people in Ukraine affected by the fighting. He said the items will be distributed by the Ukrainian Red Cross Society or other international organizations.

The donation is the government’s second humanitarian gift to Ukraine. One million baht (US$30,000) was donated to assist in providing humanitarian and medical relief for people displaced in Thailand’s eastern region in 2019.

Mr. Tanee said the donation was made through the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Thai Red Cross Society.

Thai workers planning to travel to Russia have been ordered to delay their trips by the director-general of the Employment department Mr. Pairoy Chotikasathien.

Thai Workers in Russia

According to Mr. Pairoj, there are currently 441 Thais working in the country, some of whom pay their own travel expenses. The majority of them work in spas or traditional Thai massage therapists.

‘Travelling to work in Russia is dangerous, so Thai workers need to wait until the situation improves,’ he said.

The countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia, he said, have been denied access to its airspace.

Accordingly, flights from these countries to Asia must be rerouted, resulting in longer travel times and higher ticket prices.

Kremlin officials said on Thursday they would seek information from the Russian military after Ukraine accused Russia of bombing a hospital for children in Mariupol.

Shelling of Children’s Hospital

In a briefing, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “We will definitely ask our military what happened there because neither you nor I know what happened.” Peskov added, “The military may also provide some information.”

He also said that Ukraine keeps proposing talks between President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The Ukraine foreign ministry makes us such offers constantly,” he said, explaining that contact has already reached foreign minister-level — Dmytro Kuleba and Sergei Lavrov are meeting in Turkey as he spoke.

Mr. Peskov said, “Let’s see what the results reveal.”

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