As Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia, I have co-signed the statement below. It makes clear that this is a conflict with Putin and not with the Russian people, who themselves have been cheated of a democratic future. But we will not be meeting with Russian Ambassador Kelin again after he lied at the previous meeting on February 2nd – stating it was ‘preposterous’ that Russia would invade Ukraine.
What’s followed has been harrowing and as the letter says, “we commend the exceptional bravery of President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine” and “the bravery of Russians, in Russia and elsewhere, who have condemned the invasion”.
It was an honour to welcome the Ukrainian Ambassador, Vadym Prystaiko, to the Commons with an ovation during PMQs. It’s important to have cross-party unity on sanctions at a time like this, but it was also right for Keir Starmer and the APPG’s chair Chris Bryant to push for stronger and more far-reaching economic measures to tackle Russian oligarchs with property and financial investments in the UK, including Roman Abramovich.