We find the threat of economic sanctions to be utterly insufficient to deter Russia and want the Government to pledge to defend Ukraine, up to and including full-scale military intervention if required.
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The United Kingdom has a centuries-old, time-honoured tradition of opposing tyranny; dating back to the Napoleonic wars and even Magna Carta. Our history is full of examples of the government and the people choosing the difficult path in order to combat slavers, despots, and other infringers on human rights. We should seek, we believe, to live up to the example our predecessors set. In doing so, we should hold to the spirit of the Budapest memorandum and guarantee the sovereignty of Ukraine.
Friday 22nd April 2022
The UK continues to respond decisively to Russia’s unprovoked and sustained attack of Ukraine. We will continue to supply military and humanitarian support to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty.
The UK was swift to condemn Russia’s recent assault on Ukraine, which was an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign, democratic state. This brutal attack is a grave violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and is wholly contradictory to Russia’s commitments in the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris and the NATO-Russia Founding Act. It also breaches the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, to which Russia is a signatory, and which states that each party will respect the independence and sovereignty, and the existing borders, of Ukraine.
We support President Zelenskyy in his efforts to resolve this war. Ukrainians should not be forced into concessions. We call on the Russian Government to halt its baseless and aggressive rhetoric, to deescalate tensions and to engage in meaningful talks.
We have always been clear there would be massive consequences and a severe cost for any Russian military incursion into Ukraine. As a result of their actions, we have imposed the largest package of sanctions in UK history, developed with our international partners. The sanctions further isolate Russia from the global financial system and will constrain its military development for years to come. As of 14 April 2022, the UK has sanctioned over 1200 Russian individuals, entities and subsidiaries since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The UK continues to stand up for Ukrainian rights and values, and its legitimate, democratically elected government, and we remain committed to supporting the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within internationally recognised borders.
However, the UK Government has always been clear that this is not a NATO conflict. Sending combat troops to engage directly with Russian forces could trigger a wider war between Russia and all NATO member states. Similar concerns surround any UK or NATO no-fly zone over Ukraine. Ukraine does, however, have the right to defend itself and the UK will do more to help Ukraine do that.
To date the UK has supplied Ukraine with lethal and non-lethal aid including over 5,000 light anti-armour defensive systems (Next-Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons Systems, or NLAWs) as well as almost 200 Javelin anti-tank missiles, Starstreak air defence systems, and over 200,000 items of protective gear.
The UK is also leading the efforts of partners to bolster the Ukrainian armed forces. On 31 March 2022, the Defence Secretary hosted the second Defence Donor Conference for Ukraine, bringing together over 35 international partners to discuss the latest situation in Ukraine and the country’s most pressing requirements for lethal and non-lethal military aid. The first virtual donor conference took place on 25 February 2022 with 25 countries.
On the 9 April, the Prime Minister (PM) met President Zelenskyy in Kyiv. The PM reiterated that the UK will do everything in its power to support Ukraine’s long-term security and prosperity. The PM set out further military assistance of 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems which is in addition to the further £100 million worth of military equipment the UK will send to Ukraine's armed forces, announced on 8 April 2022. This includes more Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, additional anti-tank missiles, precision munitions and further non-lethal military equipment. This builds on the £350million of military aid that the UK has already provided.
Your petition raised human rights violations. There is strong evidence that Russia’s use of indiscriminate force against innocent civilians in its illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine amounts to war crimes. The UK, along with our allies and partners, have been clear the Putin regime must be held to account. This is Putin’s war of choice, and he must bear the consequences.
The UK led efforts to refer the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court, (ICC) which has now secured the support of 40 other countries. The ICC investigation is already underway, and we will make every effort to support it and other international investigations as appropriate.
Please be assured that the UK has a clear mission: diplomatically, politically, economically and militarily as we continue our enduring bilateral partnership with Ukraine. This hideous and barbaric venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure. The UK will do everything in its power to support Ukraine’s brave fight against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion and ensure its long-term security and prosperity.
Ministry of Defence