War in Ukraine heightens Asia’s security concerns: PM Lee

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The crisis has also affected the global multilateral system, a worrying development for a small nation like Singapore that depends on globalization for its livelihood, he added.

In an hour-long dialogue organized by the Washington-based think tank Council on Foreign Relations, Prime Minister Lee laid out how Russia’s invasion of its neighbor is affecting Asia, including Singapore, a deep concern he and US President Joe Biden have after their meeting expressed on Tuesday.

Much of the wide-ranging dialogue focused on the Ukraine war and its far-reaching implications for the world, from climate cooperation to energy security.

Prime Minister Lee, who has spent the week meeting America’s leaders, also commented on Southeast Asia’s security and economic landscape amid US involvement in the region.

He condemned the Russian invasion as something that endangered the sovereignty of all countries, especially the small ones. “When a tenet is accepted that insane decisions and historical mistakes are the justification for penetrating someone else, I think a lot of us are going to feel very insecure,” he said at the event, which was attended in person by dozens of industry leaders and Officials and streamed online for more.

Additionally, he said, the conflict has torn ties between developed countries and Russia in Europe, making it harder for the countries to work together on issues ranging from trade to nuclear non-proliferation.

“Now it’s about win and lose, you want the other one down, fix him, crash his economy. So how do most countries stick together and cooperate with each other and not fall into disarray, self-sufficiency or anarchy?” he said.

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