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Cambodia PM Condemns Russian Invasion of Ukraine


FILE PHOTO: Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony of the Project for Flood Protection, donated by Japan, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Samrang Pring//File Photo

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and echoed calls for an immediate ceasefire made by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which Cambodia currently chairs.

Russia launched what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine just over a month ago, sparking the worst geopolitical and humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War Two. The countries are engaged in peace talks in Turkey.

Hun Sen invoked Cambodia's own history of occupation by Vietnam and cast doubt on Russia's ability to capture the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

"I still stand in solidarity with Ukrainian people against the invasion," he said on the sidelines of a hospital inauguration event.

In statements issued by Cambodia as chair of ASEAN, the bloc has urged restraint and dialogue, but made no mention of Russia's role in the invasion.

Of ASEAN's 10 member countries, only Singapore has announced its own sanctions against Russia, targeting banks and electronics exports - a rare move for the city-state. Others like Indonesia, which holds the G20 presidency this year and has said it will remain neutral, have raised concerns about the invasion but stopped short of condemning it.

Vietnam joined 34 other countries in abstaining from a recent vote on a United Nations resolution to denounce Russia.

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