KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah today said that Malaysia does not believe in unilateral sanctions on nations involved in conflicts, citing the war between Russia and Ukraine.
In response to an additional question by Subang MP Wong Chen, Saifuddin told Parliament that this is to avoid victimising innocent members of the public who are often the casualties of such situations.
He said that all decisions to sanction must go through the United Nations (UN).
“Our principle is that we do not believe in unilateral sanctions. Sanctions have to go through the United Nations (UN). And as a Human Rights Council member, we have already suggested a ceasefire and secondly, that negotiations be continued and if needed, a sanction can be enforced but we have not reached that level.
“But the fact is that if that is necessary, it should be made through the UN. But Your Honourable, we must also be careful with this sanction. There are times when sanctions are imposed, but if they are not targeted, those who are impacted will be innocent people, so we have to be careful about these sanctions. Although it is one of the most powerful weapons that can be used,” Saifuddin said.
He was responding to Wong who had asked as to when Malaysia would start enforcing sanctions against Russia if the current conflict prolongs where civilians are targeted.
“At what level are we willing to act beyond just you know, being mediators?” he questioned.