‘We cannot absolve ourselves of our responsibility to Ukraine’
Plaid Cymru leader writes about visit to Kyiv and urges UK Government to turn ‘piecemeal’ sanctions into ‘full-scale economic embargo’
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has today (Sunday 27 February) written in the Sunday Times that “we cannot simply absolve ourselves of our responsibility” to the people of Ukraine as they face an increasingly bloody Russian invasion.
Writing about his experiences meeting Government ministers, trade unions, organisations and the families of people living under Russian occupation in the east of the country last week, he said that people were “adamant: they wanted peace but were prepared to fight for their independence, their freedom, and their democracy”.
Mr Price writes that the UK Government’s sanctions are so far insufficient, urging Ministers to “turn the policy of piecemeal, ratcheted sanctions into a full-scale economic embargo”
In the article, Mr Price also calls for:
- Urgent economic aid and lines of credit to the Government of Ukraine and take steps to freeze or cancel their foreign debt.
- Stop all civil aviation – not just Aeroflot – out of Russia
- Bring an indictment against Putin, Lavrov and others for the crime of aggression at the UN Security Council – and signal, when Russia uses its veto, that we will not stop until they stand indicted at the Hague.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price MS said,
“At the beginning of this week, I was in Kyiv able to hear first-hand accounts from the families of those already living in the already Russian occupied territories in the east of the country.
“The quiet determination among the Ukrainian people was palpable while I was there. But in declaring war on Ukraine Putin has declared war on the right of nations everywhere to self-determination. It will now be the determination of the Ukrainian people that will be a decisive factor in deciding how this war ends.
“However, though the Ukrainians are currently fighting alone, we cannot simply absolve ourselves of our responsibility. We cannot simply dismiss this as yet another “foreign land of which we know nothing”. What happens in Ukraine will reverberate around the world for years to come, from Bosnia to Taiwan.
“Putin is irrational and nihilistic enough to use any provocation to start World War Three which makes the prospect of direct NATO involvement in the war a step fraught with peril.
“But there is much else we can and must do, with urgency. We need to turn the policy of piecemeal, ratcheted sanctions into a full-scale economic embargo – as total as the one imposed on Iran - designed to cripple the entire Russian state and prevent its economy from functioning. We need to provide the Ukrainian Army with defensive systems of a scale and sophistication that could make a tangible difference to the situation on the ground.
“We need to provide urgent economic aid and lines of credit to the Government of Ukraine and take steps to freeze or cancel their foreign debt. We need to stop all civil aviation – not just Aeroflot – out of Russia. And finally, we should bring an indictment against Putin, Lavrov and others for the crime of aggression at the UN Security Council – and signal, when Russia uses its veto, that we will not stop until they stand indicted at the Hague. Putin is not invincible.
“But we must now show the same unity, resolve and courage of conviction that is driving ordinary Ukrainians to put their bodies on the line – not just for their children, but also our own.