Taiwan FM calls mayor of Bucha in Ukraine, pledges US$500,000

06/20/2022 08:45 PM
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Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. Photo courtesy of MOFA
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. Photo courtesy of MOFA

Taipei, June 20 (CNA) Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) pledged a US$500,000 donation to the Ukrainian town of Bucha on Monday to help it rebuild after it was devastated following Russia's invasion.

The pledge was made in a video call with Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk, during which Wu expressed concern for Ukrainians and support for Ukraine on behalf of Taiwan's people in defending itself against an invasion launched by an authoritarian regime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a press release.

The last video call came after Wu had previously made three similar calls with the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine on June 10, the mayor of Kharkiv on May 31, and the mayor of Kyiv on April 22, during which Wu pledged US$13.2 million in total to help the country's ongoing rebuilding, according to the press release.

In a tweet, Wu said he had an "emotional call" with Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, where "some of the worst war crimes committed by Russia against the innocent" happened, referring to the reported massacre of hundreds of civilians in Bucha by invading Russian forces.

"Taiwan will continue to stand with Ukraine in its fight for sovereignty, freedom & democracy," Wu tweeted.

According to the town's mayor, more than 400 bodies have been found since April 12, following the withdrawal of Russian forces from the town after a month of occupation.

The Kremlin, however, has categorically rejected the accusations that Russian forces were responsible for the killings in Bucha and has suggested that the images of corpses lining the streets were "fake."

In a previous tweet in April 4, Wu had expressed Taiwan's condemnation over the massacre, calling it "horrifying and totally unacceptable."

"We must bring the perpetrators to justice for this crime against humanity," he said in the tweet.

In their video call on Monday, the minister reiterated Taiwan's "strongest condemnation" of "mercilessly massacring civilians," while joining in calls from the international community for an immediate investigation into the matter.

The government has already shipped 582 tons of humanitarian relief supplies donated by Taiwanese to European nations for delivery to Ukraine and made more than US$40 million in donations to help Ukraine refugees, Ukrainian medical institutions, and churches affected by the invasion, according to Wu.

Wu told the Bucha mayor that Taiwan had been facing Chinese military coercion for a long time and thus understood "perfectly" how Ukraine felt, said the press release.

In response, Fedoruk expressed gratitude toward the Taiwan government's support and assistance.

The Bucha mayor also said the Ukrainian people would never forgive the brutal and barbarous acts conducted by Russia within Ukraine and in Bucha.

Fedoruk pledged that Ukraine's government and its people would always remember the staunch support from Taiwan and would make good use of every penny of the money donated by Taiwan, the press release said.

At the end of their video call, both sides extended invitations to each other to visit Bucha and Taiwan, respectively, following the war to enhance close bilateral exchanges, it added.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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