THE WORLD is watching in horror as the grave humanitarian implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine become clear.
And Warwick District United Nations Association is calling on the UK government to do everything possible to help those fleeing the country.
Gian Clare, chairman of Warwick District United Nations Association, said: “Ukraine, a peaceful democratic nation, is under a brutal military attack by Putin’s Russia. With war on the headlines, our global community stands in support and solidarity with the people of Ukraine, those resisting the invasion, and those fleeing war.
“De-escalation, diplomacy, and a people-centred peace process are urgently required.
“We are advocating for the UK to do more to support those fleeing the violence and for states in the 193 members (United Nations) General Assembly to show unity in condemning Russia’s actions and bringing pressure to bear for an end to the violence.
“We call on all parties to both protect civilians and to facilitate safe, rapid, and unhindered humanitarian access.”
Mr Clare said the association welcomed the announcement made by the government to offer ongoing humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine.
“However, we also call on the UK government to clearly set out its intentions to uphold its international obligations by offering to accept significant numbers of refugees from Ukraine and in line with the agreed commitment made by the European Union.”
For the first time in 40 years, the Security Council called for an Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly representing all member states – on the situation in Ukraine.
Member states condemned the invasion and are shortly set to vote on whether to demand Moscow withdraw troops immediately.
Mr Clare outlined the association’s grave concerns over the situation in a letter to Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western.
The Labour MP told him: “I fully support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and I condemn President Putin’s unprovoked and unjustifiable attacks. These actions are a flagrant breach of international law and will have tragic and horrendous consequences. I know people in this country will be feeling worried and uncertain, and I know that Ukrainians and Russians here in the UK will be worrying for friends and family back home.
“With the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support for separatists in the Donbas, Putin has sought to undermine Ukraine and disrupt its path to democracy. I believe it is right that Britain has stepped up defensive military support to Ukraine in the face of aggression over recent months and that this is continuing. This is about giving the Ukrainians practical assistance to be able to defend themselves, alongside our economic and diplomatic support.
“For Britain’s part, Russia’s attack on Ukraine must be met with the hardest possible sanctions against the Putin regime: it must be isolated, its finances frozen, and its ability to function crippled. I welcome the sanctions outlined by the Government so far, but I believe it could go further. For example, I believe the Government should ensure that sanctions can be placed against Russia’s extractive industries, energy industries and technological industries, as well as ensure that the insurance industry cannot underwrite and de-risk Putin’s war. You can hear more about my views on this specific issue here.
“As desperate Ukrainians flee the bombing and bloodshed it is right the UK plays its part in offering people sanctuary. I welcome that the Home Office has now extended a family route for Ukrainians seeking to join relatives in Britain, after pressure from MPs and the wider public, but there are several aspects of this that still need clarifying. I also believe the Government should look at a wider, simpler sanctuary route. Myself and my team are assisting people locally who have Ukrainian relatives wishing to move to the UK.
“Putin’s actions are part of a wider pattern of aggression by Russia, from Belarus to the Balkans. He is trying to turn back the clock and to re-establish Russian force as a means of dominance over parts of Europe. Therefore, I support measures that have been taken to strengthen the security of NATO allies in response to growing threats and we must now go further to reinforce these defences.
“However, we must also strengthen our defences at home. For years, the Government has been warned about the role of dirty money in the UK from corrupt elites who sustain and profit from the Putin regime. Britain has become a destination of choice for kleptocrats seeking to hide their ill-gotten wealth under our noses. It should not have taken the invasion of Ukraine for the Government to act to clean this up. I spoke to this issue in the House of Commons last week, which you can view here.
“Ukrainians want a democratic future and they should be able to determine their own political destiny. All those who believe in the triumph of democracy over dictatorship must now support the Ukrainian people. There can be no space for equivocation when faced with the evil that Putin has unleashed. His actions pose a grave threat to the international order on which we all depend.”