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Ukraine to open Manila embassy soon; Marcos, Zelenskyy vow stronger diplomatic ties

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and President Marcos engage in a bilateral discussion on Monday morning, June 3, at the ceremonial hall in Malacañan Palace. (Courtesy: Presidential Communications Office/Facebook)
Charles Dantes

President Marcos and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have expressed commitment to further strengthen the 32-year-old diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Ukraine.

The two leaders held a bilateral meeting with their respective delegations in Malacañang on Monday morning, during which Mr. Zelenskyy revealed that Ukraine is set to open its embassy in Manila this year.

The Ukrainian leader arrived in the Philippines Sunday evening for a one-day working visit after his appearance at the 21st edition of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

President Marcos also attended the same forum. They were supposed to meet in Singapore, but their schedules did not align. President Zelenskyy’s scheduled visit to Manila was kept under wraps due to security issues.

The visiting Ukrainian head of state was given arrival honors by members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) around 8:00 a.m. in Malacañang. President Marcos greeted him along with other Philippine government officials, including House Speaker Martin Romualdez.

“We are very happy to welcome you President Zelenskyy to the Philippines… We are very honored that you found the time to pass by the Philippines,” President Marcos told Zelenskyy during their short meeting.

President Marcos looks on as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signs the official guest book during his visit in Malacañang. (Courtesy: Presidential Communications Office/Facebook)

In response, President Zelenskyy thanked President Marcos for the Philippines’ unwavering support to Ukraine. He said he was happy to visit Manila for the first time.

“We’re very thankful to be here in your country…which supports Ukraine, our territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Mr. Zelenskyy told Mr. Marcos.

President Marcos described Ukraine’s plan to open its embassy in Manila as “good news,” adding that the Philippines is willing to support the eastern European nation in any way possible.

“We will continue to do all that we can to promote peace and to bring an end to the fighting and to come to a political resolution [for] your country,” Mr. Marcos told his Ukrainian counterpart.

“I think everybody fully understands that it is easier said than done and it will be a difficult road to find our way back to the situation that is morally acceptable not only to Ukraine, but to the rest of the world,” President Marcos added.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy troops the line during an arrival honors ceremony as he steps foot inside Malacañan Palace in Manila for the first time. (Courtesy: Presidential Communications Office/Facebook)

The diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Ukraine span 32 years since it was formally established on April 7, 1992.

In 2022, Ukraine ranked as the 90th trading partner of the Philippines, the 119th export market and 76th import source. The total trade between the countries amounted to USD 16.9 million with export valued at USD 1.49 million and imports at USD 15.41 million.

Ukraine served as a second home to nearly 200 Filipinos. But the figure went down to 25, who are mostly married to Ukrainians, due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis, according to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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