The Malaysian government has no plans to impose sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, says foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah.
Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat on 8 March, he said there has been global pressure to squeeze Moscow-linked businesses over the invasion of Ukraine, hence, Malaysia will only do so as part of a joint effort by the United Nations.
“We don’t believe in unilateral sanctions,” he said, adding that sanctions will cause innocent people will be the ones who suffer and should be meted out in a careful and targeted manner.
“Sanctions have to go through the United Nations. As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, we have asked for a ceasefire and for peace negotiations to continue.” he said.
Saifuddin said sanctions will only be implemented when necessary. “But we have not yet arrived at that level yet. The fact is that even if we want to place sanctions, it must be through the UN,” he said.
Saifuddin was replying to Subang MP Wong Chen who asked if Malaysia would consider taking such measures and sanction Russia in light of the worsening conflict in Ukraine.
The minister said Malaysia will continue to share a cordial relationship with both Russia and Ukraine and will continue to support a peaceful solution.
“There are a number of our allied countries that are actively involved in peaceful negotiations, and we have already expressed our support to them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Saifuddin said that there are only about 4 citizens registered with the embassy left there in Ukraine. He added that Malaysia’s embassies in countries neighbouring Ukraine are in constant contact with the individuals, and remain ready to assist if they intend to leave Ukraine.
“This includes facilitating their entry into the neighbouring countries, issues of documentation and ensuring that their welfare is protected,” he said.