PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia remains non-aligned to any side in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, says Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah (pic).

“We keep on encouraging both sides to end this conflict,” he said in a special media interview on Saturday.

“There are parties working to get both sides to end the conflict,” he added, noting that several parties are at work to formulate a ceasefire and dispatch humanitarian aid.

He also said any acts of aggression that threaten the principle of sovereignty and national integrity cannot be condoned.

Russia has been hit with sanctions by several countries following its invasion of Ukraine in February.

However, Saifuddin said Malaysia as a nation does not recognise unilateral sanctions.

“If there is a sanction, it has to go through the United Nations (UN), and if the resolution is passed by the UN, then as a member of the UN you have to respect and abide by it,” he explained.

The conflict which started on Feb 24 has sparked a refugee crisis and claimed the lives of more than 3,000 civilians.

On the coming Asean-US Special Summit in Washington DC from May 12 to May 13, Saifuddin said three ministers and several other officials will be part of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s team in the US.

Besides Ismail Sabri and Saifuddin, the delegation to the summit will also comprise International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

He said the event will begin with a series of meetings on May 12.

The summit will start at 3pm on May 13, where US president Joe Biden will meet with all Asean heads of government.

He added that Ismail Sabri is expected to raise several regional issues during the summit, such as the situation in Myanmar and Malaysia’s stance in relation to other international issues, at the meeting.

“Malaysia considers this meeting important because the US is one of Asean’s dialogue partners,’’ Saifuddin said.