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Ukrainians in Panama join worldwide protest

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Ukrainians in Panama join worldwide protest


Posted 26/02/2022

A group of Ukrainians living in Panama protested in front of the Embassy in Albrook on  Saturday morning, February 26, against Russia's invasion of their country. The group shouted “Save Ukraine! and “Putin stop the war!”

 Similar demonstrations have been replicated throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, and Argentina, where more than 300,000Ukrainians reside.

It is estimated that more than 115,000 people have crossed the border between Ukraine and Poland, where eight refugee centers have been established.


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Panama’s response to the invasion of Ucraine


Posted 27/02/2022

Panamanians know firsthand the pain and terrible scars of foreign invasions. Despite the enormous sympathy that has been generated in world public opinion, the heroic resistance of the people and government of Ukraine to the brutal Russian aggression, our country has some constitutional and institutional limitations that should frame the Panamanian response to the situation writes Rodrigo Noriega in La Prensa.

First of all, there is the neutrality of the Panama Canal, to whose regime the Russian Federation adhered. This means that Russian-flagged ships can cross the Panama Canal without any restrictions unless they represent a threat to Panamanian navigation or security.

With respect to the other possible jurisdictional spaces in which Panama could act against Russia, these actions would be limited to what is established by international norms and Latin American diplomatic practice.

That means that a decision is needed from some multilateral organization to which Panama belongs, for example, if there were a decision from the United Nations Security Council, that would be binding for Panama, as well as similar decisions from the Organization of American States and others.

The restriction that the authorities of different countries have imposed on Russian banks and financial institutions to exclude themselves from the SWIFT system, would be fulfilled in Panama not by instructions from the Panamanian banking authorities, but by referral from the banking correspondents that exist in our country.

No Panamanian national authority can by itself freeze or confiscate Russian property or assets in our country. If a country, or an international organization requests it, the decision would need to be based on the applicable international agreements and not simply on an international diplomatic request.

Fighting organized crime money laundering is not the same as freezing the funds of Russian natural or legal persons who could perfectly well be innocent of their government's responsibility.

If at some later date the international community qualifies the acts committed in Ukraine as war crimes or crimes against humanity, Panama would have the responsibility to cooperate in the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of those responsible for such conduct.

What can be done
The country can participate in numerous diplomatic initiatives to promote the withdrawal of Russian troops and an internationally supervised truce.

Panama cannot send agents of the Public Force because it does not have armed forces by constitutional prohibition. On the other hand, it can send police, the National Civil Protection System, firefighters or medical personnel as auxiliaries for the rescue and reconstruction tasks in Ukraine, once there is an international framework that serves as an umbrella for such a situation.

In turn, Panama must avoid any shipment of weapons, explosives, ammunition, or equipment of any nature intended for military operations in Ukraine, since this would directly involve us in the conflict.

The most important thing we can do at this moment is to express our repudiation of the violence and express our solidarity with Ukraine.

Support diplomatic efforts to achieve peace and remain vigilant that our country is not used by the parties to this conflict. If necessary, the government of Panama could accept Ukrainian refugees, which at the moment does not seem to be necessary due to the great European solidarity.


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Panama, Costa Rica, Dominica at UN condemn Russian attack


Posted 28/02/2022

Panama's ambassador to the United Nations, Markova Concepción, called for an end to hostilities and reiterated the position of condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Concepción's words were given this Monday, February 28, at the extraordinary emergency session of the UN General Assembly, which is debating a resolution condemning Russia’s Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The statement was made jointly with  Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, as members of the Alliance for the Development of Countries in Democracy.

"We condemn the use of force and the violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, by the Russian Federation," said Concepción in the Assembly.

She stressed that the Alliance joins what was expressed by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in calling for the cessation of hostilities and the application of moderation and reason.

In addition, it is stated that all efforts must ensure rapid and safe access of humanitarian aid to those who need it in Ukraine and to protect civilians, including humanitarian personnel.


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Seven Panamanians  in Ukraine opt to weather the storm


Posted 02/03/2022

Seven Panamanians in Ukraine have decided to ride out the storm of the Russian invasion while six others have been transferred to other countries Panamanian Foreign Minister, Erika Mouynes, reported on Tuesday, March 1.

The six Panamanians identified in Ukraine are out of danger, but seven others decided to remain on Ukrainian territory, where a war with Russia is currently being waged said Minister Mouynes on her Twitter account.

We have articulated with local embassies in Ukraine from other friendly countries to provide permanent support, Mouynes added.

On February 24, after speaking with the concurrent ambassador to Ukraine, Javier Bonagas, the chancellor announced that six Panamanians who were in Ukraine were out of danger.

Bonagas, ambassador of Panama in Poland, asked Panamanians who are in Ukraine to contact the diplomatic headquarters in the city of Warsaw at the telephone numbers 0048-22-642-2143 and +48-787-400-352.

Panama does not have a consulate in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, so the concurrent embassy is in Poland.


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