'We don't appreciate it': DFA cries foul at Ukraine envoy baring phone call request

Kaycee Valmonte - Philstar.com
'We don't appreciate it': DFA cries foul at Ukraine envoy baring phone call request
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. delivered a message after he arrived at Villamor Airbase in Manila on December 15, 2022.
STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine diplomats cried foul on Thursday after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s unanswered request of a phone call with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was made public. 

According to the Embassy of Ukraine in Malaysia, the request was made months ago after the elections. 

"We don’t really appreciate [it] when these things are done," Carlos Sorreta, undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and International Economic Relations at the Department of Foreign Affairs, said during a press briefing on Thursday. 

"Ukraine is a country we have a good relationship with but when matters like these are vented by representatives of another government to the press, it’s not something we appreciate."

This comes after the embassy conducted a media forum over teleconference with Filipino journalists on Wednesday. The Ukrainian embassy said the official note requesting the call was sent in June last year and multiple follow-ups and assistance has been asked through the DFA.

However, the embassy said they have not heard back from either the DFA or the Office of the President. 

RELATED: Marcos calls Russia-Ukraine war ‘unacceptable’

Zelenskyy wanted to discuss with Marcos Jr. his 10-point peace plan, which he has already tackled with other world leaders. 

"We do understand that the priority of the Filipino government is the neighboring countries and we’ve seen that very fruitful visit to China, but we are still hoping for the intensification of the bilateral relationship for our relations," Embassy of Ukraine in Malaysia Chargé d’Affaires Denys Mykhailiuk said, adding the invitation for a call is still open.

Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February 24 last year and since then, there are now over 7.967 million who found refuge from Ukraine in other countries across Europe according to a tally by the UN Refugee Agency. Mykhailiuk said the war-torn country now needs additional military equipment, medical equipment, as well as sanitary goods. 

RELATED: Philippines condemns Russia's invasion of Ukraine, joins call for end to hostilities 

On Thursday morning, the DFA said the two countries had high-level interactions recently, with the latest being on November last year when Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo met with his counterpart, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba, at the sidelines of the ASEAN Summits in Camboadia. 

Manalo expressed "strong support" for Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation of Southeast Asia, while Kuleva thanked the Philippines for supporting Ukraine in the UN General Assembly in September last year. 

The DFA also said the country supported Ukraine through the joint statement of the ASEAN and European Union leaders in Brussels, Belgium last year. 

However, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sorreta maintained that publicizing their request and "venting" to the press was not the way to go.

"If he wants this to happen, we have to discuss it. These things are arranged, talking points are discussed, there’s pre-discussions," Sorreta said during Thursday afternoon’s briefing. "It’s not good diplomatic practice to be doing it the way he did."

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