By ROY C. MABASA
The sooner that arms supply reaches Ukraine, the sooner that the bloody war against the invading Russian forces will end, a top Ukrainian diplomat told Filipino journalists, Thursday night.
Dmytro Senik, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs said his country does not possess as many weapons that the Russians have, even as his government is already preparing for an eventual end of the conflict with its neighbor from the east.
“So, there are no terms now in terms of days or months. But there is a condition: As soon as we get the weapons to protect ourselves, the sooner this war will end,” Senik said at the conclusion of his two-day visit in Manila.
During his visit, Senik briefed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the latest developments in his country and its determination to protect itself from “unprovoked and unjust aggression” and the “atrocities” committed by the Russian army.
“I believe that the case of Ukraine is important for our common future and the international order,” Senik said.
He pointed out that the continuing Russian aggression against Ukraine is already creating havoc on the global economy, as well as causing food shortages worldwide.
This, he added, was due to the Russian navy’s blockade of Ukrainian seaports, thereby disrupting the global food supply chains.
While the war is still ongoing, the Ukrainian diplomat said the situation in his country is “very intense” with “huge” numbers of casualties in both the innocent civilians, including women and children, and uniformed personnel.
He said Ukraine has likewise suffered an estimated US$600 billion worth of losses due to the destruction of vital infrastructures such as roads, railways, bridges, schools, hospitals and related healthcare facilities.
Senik, however, expressed optimism that Ukraine will emerge victorious against Russia.
“We are talking about evil versus good. We are talking about right versus wrong. Ukraine has always been a peaceful country… We have no doubt in our victory,” the visiting deputy minister said.
Amid the raging war, Senik said his government is preparing for the massive reconstruction as he extends his invitation to Filipino businessmen and entrepreneurs to participate in the effort to rebuild Ukraine.
The visit to Manila of Deputy Foreign Minister Senik, the highest official to do so in many years, coincides with the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. He was acxompanied by outgoing Ukrainian Ambassador to the Philippines Olexander Nechytaylo.
Senik said Ukraine and the Philippines have agreed to immediately start working on the opening of their respective embassies in both Kiev and Manila.