Initial hesitance gives way as Asean nations take a stand against Ukraine invasion

But Vietnam and Laos cannot afford to condemn Russia, said analysts.

Tan Hui Yee

Tan Hui Yee

The Straits Times


Within Asean, only Laos and Vietnam abstained from supporting the non-binding resolution condemning Russia's aggression against Ukraine. PHOTO: AFP

March 4, 2022

BANGKOK – There were rumblings about the need for “neutrality” in some Asean capitals before Wednesday’s (March 2) vote on the United Nations resolution demanding that Russia withdraw its troops from Ukraine. But overall, Asean states stood on what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called “the right side of history”.

Out of the 193 members of the UN General Assembly, 141 supported the non-binding resolution condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Within Asean, only Laos and Vietnam – two countries with an existential need to stay in Moscow’s good books – abstained from the vote. The other eight Asean states voted yes.

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