President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (Yonhap)
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Tuesday evening spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy amid escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
“President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol held a phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at 5 p.m. on Tuesday,” Yoon’s spokesperson said in a written statement.
“As Ukraine is currently in a war situation, please understand that it is difficult to disclose the details of the call,” the statement added.
Zelenskyy confirmed the call on Twitter shortly after and thanked Koreans for their support.
“I wished the President-elect success in his future responsible activities and expressed conviction in further fruitful cooperation,” he tweeted.
Before the presidential election, Yoon met with Ukrainian Ambassador to Korea Dmytro Ponomarenko on March 2, conveying a message of support after Russia began its invasion of the country on Feb. 24. Yoon told the ambassador that Koreans, including himself, support the Ukrainian president and the people’s united efforts to fight against Russia.
Yoon had said at the time, “It is very natural for many free countries, including South Korea, to condemn and participate in sanctions against Russia’s invasion, which is clearly a violation of international law.”
Yoon delivered letters and donations to the Ukrainian people at a closed meeting with Ponomarenko.
South Korea has joined the international community in piling pressure on Russia over Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, including imposing financial sanctions on major Russian banks. The nation also provided emergency humanitarian aid of $10 million for Ukrainian citizens and refugees. A total of 20 items were delivered, including nonlethal military supplies such as bulletproof helmets, tents and blankets as well as personal first aid kits and medical supplies.
This was not the first time Zelenskyy has held a phone call with a high-ranking official in Korea.
On March 3, President Moon Jae-in had a 30-minute phone call with the Ukrainian president, expressing his deepest condolences to the victims and their bereaved families of the war in Ukraine.
“We pay tribute to the courage and sacrifice of President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people who are resolutely fighting against the aggression,” Moon said.
By Shin Ji-hye (email@example.com