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Singapore, Ukraine reaffirm ties, ink air connectivity agreement

Singapore, Ukraine reaffirm ties, ink air connectivity agreement
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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Prime Minister Lawrence Wong during his working visit to Singapore. 

Singapore, Ukraine reaffirm ties, ink air connectivity agreement

Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong greets Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Istana, Singapore, on Jun 2, 2024. (Photo: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)

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02 Jun 2024 08:50PM

SINGAPORE: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Sunday (Jun 2) reaffirmed the “warm and friendly” ties between both countries. 

Singapore and Ukraine also inked an agreement that would pave the way for increased air connectivity between the nations, said the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Mr Zelenskyy was in Singapore this weekend for the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s top security conference.

During his working visit, he called on President Tharman as well as Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong. 

“Both Presidents had a wide-ranging discussion on regional and international developments and agreed on the importance of adherence to international law and the principles of the UN Charter in resolving conflicts,” said MFA. 

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls on Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Jun 2, 2024. (Photo: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)

In his meeting with Mr Wong, the ministry said they discussed key global developments and “agreed that the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected”. 

“The leaders also discussed potential sectors that Ukraine and Singapore could deepen cooperation on the bilateral front, such as in trade and economic relations.”

Mr Zelenskyy said in a post on X that he appreciated “Singapore’s clear position on condemning Russian aggression, supporting sanctions pressure on Russia, and providing humanitarian assistance”. 

In a separate post, Mr Zelenskyy also said that he has invited Mr Wong to attend the upcoming Swiss-organised peace conference on the war in Ukraine. 

“We focused specifically on expanding our economic cooperation, particularly the prospects for increased trade and agricultural exports,” he wrote. 

He added that he outlined Ukraine’s vision of the summit’s outcomes to Mr Wong. 


Following the meeting, Mr Wong and Mr Zelenskyy witnessed the signing of the Ukraine-Singapore Air Services Agreement. 

The agreement supports air connectivity between both countries, allowing airlines of both sides to operate unlimited frequencies of passenger and cargo services, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in a press release on Sunday. 

It utilises the third and fourth freedom of traffic rights between Singapore and any point in Ukraine, with no restrictions on capacity, routing, or aircraft type. 

“The agreement marks an important milestone in bilateral aviation relations, and replaces a previous agreement between the two countries from 2011,” said CAAS. 

Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy presiding over the signing of the Air Services Agreement between Ukraine and Singapore at the Istana, Singapore, on Jun 2, 2024. (Photo: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)

The agreement was signed by Singapore Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance Mr Chee Hong Tat and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Singapore Mrs Kateryna Zelenko.

Mr Chee noted that the agreement will create the conditions for “stronger economic, cultural and people-to-people ties” between both countries. 

In an earlier post on social media, the Ukrainian president said he also met with “leading investment companies in Singapore”. 

“Even in the midst of war, the Ukrainian economy is finding ways to develop and grow, adapting to new circumstances. I am grateful to those Singaporean businessmen who continue to work in Ukraine and maintain employment,” wrote Mr Zelenskyy. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a meeting with investment companies in Singapore on Jun 2, 2024. (Photo: X/ZelenskyyUa)


Speaking in an address and question-and-answer session at the security summit, Mr Zelenskyy said that diplomacy – in the form of a peace summit later this month – was the best way to end a “cruel war” that has killed thousands in his country since 2022. 

On the sidelines of the summit, the Ukraine leader met with delegates from various countries, including Indonesia’s president-elect Prabowo Subianto, a delegation from the US Congress, as well as the president of Timor-Leste, Jose Ramos-Horta.

Mr Zelenskyy also had talks with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for more than an hour on Sunday, where the two “pledged to further strengthen the strategic defence partnership between the United States and Ukraine”, said a Pentagon official.

The Shangri-La Dialogue is Asia’s premier defence summit to discuss critical security challenges in the Asia-Pacific. Security assistance for Ukraine was one of the key issues discussed at this year’s dialogue.

Russia has not attended the Shangri-La Dialogue since the invasion. 

Source: CNA/Agencies/at(zl)

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