Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba pledged to utilise opportunities to build relationships with the ASEAN nations to promote political matters, trade, business opportunities and food security.

Dmytro has been in Phnom Penh for the last two days to sign the treaty on amity and cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) during the ASEAN summit, as Ukraine believes that relations with ASEAN countries are one of the priorities of Ukrainian foreign policy.

On the very first day of his presence in Phnom Penh, he was received by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who held talks with him, following Hun Sen’s November 1 phone conversation with Ukrainian president Zelensky.

On November 10, he signed the TAC, as the consensual support of ASEAN leaders is required for a country to become a partner of ASEAN.

“We are glad that it is during Cambodia’s chairmanship of ASEAN that consensus was secured and this signing became reality. We take it as a message of support … a political message of support by ASEAN countries to Ukraine,” Dmytro said in a press conference on 12 November.

“The issue of Ukraine joining TAC has been on the agenda for some years, but finally, it's done. It brings our relations with ASEAN countries to a new level,” he noted.

“We will explore and utilise all opportunities of building a deeper relationship with ASEAN counties in the political, trade, business to business, and food security sectors. These are all priorities both for us and the ASEAN countries,” Dmytro added.

He said his visit to the summit is also an opportunity to hold bilateral talks with the foreign ministers of the ASEAN member states.

“We are meeting each other as colleagues, talking, explaining each other’s positions and perceptions of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, finding common ground, identifying spheres of mutual interest. So, the normal classic diplomacy stuff is happening,” Dmytro said.