Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told a news conference on Saturday that he hoped Asian countries would “change their attitude” towards Ukraine as European countries have done.
Zelensky said NATO not accepting Ukraine as a member was a “big mistake” and that some of the alliance’s European member states had underestimated the country. He added, however, that Ukraine’s “unity” and “strength” in response to the Russian invasion “succeeded in changing the attitude of the alliance and European member states” towards the country.
“I really want Asian countries to change their attitude towards Ukraine as well,” Zelensky said.
He said these countries are closer to Russia because of their past ties with the Soviet Union.
“Therefore, after the fall of the Soviet Union to which they were historically close, the Russian Federation succeeded the Soviet Union and the largest country of the former Soviet Union, which is why their relations remain strong with Russia,” he said.
However, he said he saw some of the nations now being “more inclined” towards Ukraine and that their people might change their attitude towards the country.
The comments come as India has come under pressure from the United States and Western countries to join them in repelling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian ambitions and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
India has close ties with Moscow due to Russia’s military assistance and alliance against China’s ambitions to expand its influence in the region.
A senior US official said President Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed Russia earlier this month in a conversation the official called “warm and productive.”
The official said the Biden administration did not want to see India “accelerate or increase imports of Russian energy” and that India, which has continued to buy Russian oil as the United States and Other countries sanctioned Moscow for the invasion, could cut Russia’s oil if it wanted to without dealing a severe blow to its economy.
It also comes after Chinese officials said this week they would strengthen relations with their Russian counterparts amid the invasion.
“No matter how the international landscape may change, China will continue to strengthen strategic coordination with Russia for win-win cooperation, jointly safeguard the common interests of the two countries, and promote the construction of a new type of international relations. and a community with a shared future for mankind,” Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said in a statement.
China has refused to condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and has opposed sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to the dispute.