While a few Asian governments have offered humanitarian and defense aid to Ukraine, no Asian country or territory has made it to Kiev’s recent list of “partners” to thank for supporting its fight for freedom against Russia.
The list, which was unveiled in a Ministry of Foreign Affairs video posted on Monday, includes 31 nations that have given lethal weaponry to Kiev amid the ongoing crisis. These nations provided rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers and other forms of ammunition the war-torn country said it desperately needs.
Ukraine officially thanked Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Great Britain and the United States.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared these nations as Ukraine’s “partners,” with Armed Forces Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi thanking them for their “assistance and unwavering support in these hard times.”
Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and other Asian nations have sent humanitarian aid, nonlethal defense equipment or both, but the recently shared list emphasizes that Ukraine wants more support.
To date, South Korea, one of Asia’s largest economies, has provided 1 billion won (approximately $784,800) of nonlethal military and medical supplies to Ukraine, with an additional nonlethal aid worth 2 billion won (approximately $1.57 million) reportedly on its way soon.
However, Seoul has received criticism for not offering enough support, especially when only 60 out of 300 lawmakers were present during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s virtual address earlier this month, according to reports.
“For the average South Korean, access to sea delicacies has absolute priority over a war in eastern Europe,” Artyom Lukin, an international relations professor at Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University, wrote in a tweet.
Japan, on the other hand, has maintained that it will not send lethal weapons to Ukraine, adhering to principles under its post-World War II pacifist Constitution.
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said that before the thank-you video was released, Ukraine reached out to explain why Japan was excluded from the list. The Eastern European nation reportedly expressed “gratitude again to us for offering humanitarian and financial assistance as well as defense equipment.”
Incidentally, Japan’s omission came after Ukraine apologized on Sunday for another video it previously released which referenced fascism in World War II and showed Emperor Hirohito beside Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Meanwhile, China, which forged a “limitless” friendship with Russia ahead of the invasion, has remained neutral over the crisis, calling for peace but refusing to condemn Moscow’s actions.
So far, at least 2,700 Ukrainian civilians, 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers and 15,000 Russian soldiers are estimated to have been killed since Russia’s invasion began.