On Victory Day in Russia, I was proud to see the Defence Secretary give a speech at the National Army Museum in London, on Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, criticising the Kremlin and its military leaders, making it clear they must face the consequences for their deplorable actions in Ukraine.
Supporting Ukraine’s continued resistance to Putin’s barbaric invasion is vital and as someone recently sanctioned by the Kremlin for standing for my views and on behalf of constituents, I believe this focus must be unrelenting, and therefore easing the burden of high energy prices on hard-working families.
The PM again showed his leadership on the global stage with his video link appearance to the Ukrainian Government recently – the first global leader to do so, after also being the first to visit Kiev and President Zelensky and recently address their Parliament.
The Defence Secretary provided another update on Ukraine yesterday on the current situation and what steps we are taking to further our support to the Ukrainian people. I just wanted to highlight a few key points from the statement:
- Approximately 15,000 Russian personnel have been killed during their offensive
- A number of sources suggest that to date over 2,000 armoured vehicles have been destroyed or captured
- To date we have provided more than 5,000 anti-tank missiles, 5 Air Defence systems with more than 100 missiles, 1,360 anti-structure munitions, and 4.5 tonnes of plastic explosives
- The UK has also been supplying Starstreak high velocity and low velocity anti-air missiles, which have been deployed and used by Ukrainian forces to defend themselves and their territory
- We will now be gifting a small number of armoured vehicles fitted with launchers for those anti-air missiles. These Stormer vehicles will give Ukraine forces enhanced short range anti-air capabilities
- We have also sent significant quantities of non-lethal equipment to Ukraine. To date we have sent over 90,000 ration packs, over 10 pallets of medical equipment, more than 3,000 pieces of body armour, nearly 77,000 helmets, 3,000 pairs of boots and much more including communications equipment and ear defence
- We are boosting our humanitarian support to Ukraine, sending new ambulances, fire engines and funding for health experts to better equip the Ukrainian people to deliver vital healthcare. This is on top of new trade measures that will see tariffs on all goods from Ukraine cut to zero, providing much-needed economic support.
Looking further ahead, NATO is reassessing its posture and the UK is leading conversations at NATO about how best the Alliance can deter and defend against threats. I will continue to work with colleagues to help Ukrainians in the UK find work to help them settle in the country, and I've been attending weekly meetings with MPs to be updated on the situation, as well as individually meeting with the Refugees Minister.
As the Kremlin continues its renewed campaign in the Donbass region, yesterday the Prime Minister spoke to the leaders of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Romania, Japan, the EU, and NATO, where they agreed on the need to find a long-term security solution as well as increasing collective diplomatic efforts – and the Prime Minister also announced additional artillery support to Ukraine.
Following the PM's visit to Ukraine over Easter Recess, he also spoke with the US President about the situation in Ukraine, agreeing to continue bolstering military and economic support for Ukraine, including through our new package of anti-ship missiles and military vehicles, and working with our international allies to apply joint economic pressure on Putin and to end reliance on Russian oil and gas.
As Putin’s illegal war enters a new phase, it is right that we continue to work with our international partners to provide support to Ukraine, while further holding Russia to account.
We are leading the way with our allies in supporting Ukraine to stand up to Putin’s aggression – he will never be able to hold down the spirit of the Ukrainian people.
Face to face talks are ongoing between Istanbul between Ukrainian and Russian delegations, and I sincerely hope this can result in an immediate withdrawal by the Kremlin from Ukraine, as well as an agreement which protects Ukraine's security, sovereignty and land are protected.
We appointed a leading British lawyer as an independent adviser to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General, helping Ukraine hold Russia accountable for its war crimes. We have also recommended that all public sector organisations cut contracts with Russian suppliers, as we take all legal routes to sever commercial ties with Russia.
We have already issued 21,600 visas in less than a month to reunite Ukrainians with family in the UK.
Today, a Kremlin spokesman said our Prime Minister was seen "as the most active participant" in Western efforts to isolate and thwart the tyrannical Kremlin regime - highlighting how we are leading the international effort on the global stage, as Putin continues his barbaric, illegal invasion of a sovereign nation. I am proud that the Kremlin sees the UK as a real thorn in its side, and we will continue to do everything we can going forward to hit the Kremlin where it hurts and support our Ukrainian friends.
NATO leaders have also gathered today in Brussels for an emergency summit, which President Biden is also attending, where our Rt Hon PM Boris Johnson MP will announce a major military support package from the UK for Ukraine, providing defensive weapons to help Ukrainians in response to Russia’s brutal tactics.
This means the UK Government are providing an additional 6,000 anti-tank missiles and £25 million for the Ukrainian military – more than doubling the defensive lethal aid we have provided to more than 10,000 missiles, on top of our £400 million in humanitarian and economic aid to Ukraine.
The UK Government also announced today we have sanctioned a further 65 groups and individuals linked to the Kremlin, including a private military firm and a major Russian bank.
We will continue to urge our allies to join us in strengthening Ukraine’s defence capabilities – to keep the flame of freedom alive in Ukraine.
We have now supplied over 3.7 million items of medical supplies to Ukraine - including 300,000 sterile needles, 32,000 bandages, 160,000 wound packs, and 220,000 packs of medicine – with the eleventh flight of humanitarian aid leaving from Heathrow yesterday morning.
This life-saving humanitarian aid will provide vital support to those who are suffering due to Putin’s illegal invasion, as we continue to support Ukraine as the second biggest bi-lateral donor of humanitarian aid.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister spoke to the leaders of the United States, France, Germany, and Italy to reaffirm our commitment to supporting Ukraine militarily, diplomatically and economically, and resolved to increase the pressure on Russia to end its unjustified invasion of Ukraine.
Foreign Secretary announces historic round of sanctions with over 1,000 individuals and entities targeted since the invasion*.
Today, thanks to the new urgent Economic Crime Act powers, we are announcing over 370 new sanctions, taking the total number of Russian and Belarusian individuals and entities sanctioned since the invasion of Ukraine to over 1,000.
Those subject to UK sanctions include Michael Friedman, Pyotr Aven and German Khan. Those oligarchs sanctioned today have a combined estimated worth of more than £90bn.
The UK has led the international sanctions efforts, cutting off whole sectors of the Russian economy by targeting its defence companies, its trade and transport sector, and working with allies to exclude Russia from the SWIFT financial system.
The UK will continue to tighten the screw on the Russian economy in the coming days, as the Government makes full use of powers necessary to tackle the biggest security crisis in Europe since World War II.
We launched our Homes for Ukraine scheme to build on the UK’s proud and long history of supporting people in need, as the we continue to play a leading role in supporting the humanitarian crisis caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Phase One of the scheme saw 44,000 sponsors sign up in the first five hours, and allows sponsors in the UK to nominate a named Ukrainian or a named Ukrainian family to stay with them – and in return they will receive £350 per month.
We have now laid out emergency regulations so those arriving can access Universal Credit and support from Work Coaches to find jobs from day one. We are also providing translation services and face-to-face assistance to those who need it.
We are donating more than 500 mobile generators to Ukraine, providing much needed energy to essential facilities including hospitals, shelters and water treatment plants. As well as helping to keep the lights on in Ukraine, we are also bringing some of the most vulnerable to safety, including 21 Ukrainian children with cancer who have been brought to the UK to receive lifesaving treatment through the NHS.
We’ve expanded the Ukrainian Family Scheme, which will enable British nationals and Ukrainians already settled in the UK to also bring parents, grandparents, adult offspring and siblings. We’ve also established a humanitarian sponsorship pathway and are speeding up the visa application system for Ukrainian refugees, to process the 17,700 applications made so far, with 8,900 having now been completed. I want to thank constituents who have been raising this matter with me in recent days and I anticipate we will see the number of visas approved following completion to accelerate in the coming days.
The Economic Crime Bill was successfully and speedily voted through the House of Commons on Monday and is expected to become law later this month. This will mean we can harden and speed up sanctions to stop wealthy Russians using the City of London for money laundering and hiding their illegally attained wealth.
The PM also hosted the Canadian and Dutch Prime Ministers on Monday, having set out a six-point plan for the global response, The plan’s six steps are:
- mobilising an international humanitarian coalition for Ukraine
- helping Ukraine to defend itself
- maximising the economic pressure on Putin’s regime
- preventing any creeping normalisation of what Russia is doing in Ukraine
- pursuing diplomatic paths to de-escalation
- strengthening Euro-Atlantic security
The PM has also confirmed today the UK will phase out Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022. This transition period will give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports – which make up 8% of UK demand.
As of today, the UK has delivered almost £400 million in aid to Ukraine and her people.
Guidance on the support available to Ukrainian nationals and their family members can be found at this address: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-family-members-of-british-nationals-in-ukraine-and-ukrainian-nationals-in-ukraine-and-the-uk
To send humanitarian aid to the Poland-Ukraine border to support refugees fleeing the country, please visit here: https://www.gov.pl/web/unitedkingdom/humanitarian-aid-to-ukraine
The PM spoke with President Zelenskyy this morning, stating that the UK will do everything it can to ensure the situation does not deteriorate further. We will be seeking an emergency UN Security Council meeting today to discuss Russia’s actions, and the UK will raise this issue immediately with Russia and our close international partners.
The Government have also pledged a further £80 million in humanitarian aid – bringing our overall aid support for Ukraine to £220 million. We are also expanding our Ukrainian Humanitarian Route, confirming that British nationals and people settled in the UK with parents, grandparents, adult children and siblings from Ukraine will be able to bring their extended family members to the UK, subject to security checks – as well as a new sponsored route to allow communities to privately sponsor Ukrainian refugees.
The *Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal* has now been launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee. The PM confirmed this will mean the Government will match donations from the public to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal pound-for-pound up to £20 million. I am proud to say this is largest ever aid-match contribution the Government has committed to.
For more, please see the following links:
DEC Appeal URL: https://donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal
DEC Twitter: https://twitter.com/decappeal
After discussing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, the Prime Minister announced £40 million of further humanitarian aid to Ukraine to provide vital medical supplies, bringing the total amount of aid pledged to Ukraine this year to £140 million. The Prime Minister also announced people who are settled in the UK can bring their Ukrainian immediate family members to join them, providing a route for Ukrainians fleeing disaster, war, and persecution to come here.
Today, we also announced new sanctions on the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, while cracking down on money laundering by foreign oligarchs supporting Putin’s campaign of destruction.
We have now expelled selected Russian banks from the SWIFT financial system in coordination from the SWIFT financial system in coordination international partners, imposing the most severe economic sanctions against Putin’s tyrannical regime for the appalling assault on Ukraine.
The Foreign Secretary has also drawn up a new hit-list of Russian oligarchs to be sanctioned, ensuring there will be nowhere left to hide for those complicit in Putin’s tyrannical regime.
We have implemented the largest and most severe economic sanctions that Russia has ever seen – targeting eight oligarchs with asset freezes and travel bans, along with more than 100 individuals, entities, and subsidiaries.
The horrific events in Ukraine are appalling – the PM spoke with President Zelenskyy and chaired a COBRA meeting to make it clear we will respond decisively and that our thoughts are with Ukraine and its people at this dark time.
I sat in the House as the PM announced major Russian banks will be excluded from the UK financial system and oligarchs have been targeted in new sanctions which are the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions Russia has ever seen.
The Visa Application Centre in Lviv has now opened for all those who are eligible for a visa via the Family Migration route. Immediate family of British nationals in Ukraine wishing to apply should call (+44) 0300 303 2785 for assistance.
If any families in Mid Sussex have family members in Ukraine, please contact my office via either phone or email and we will do everything we can to help loved ones leave Ukraine.
The Lviv Visa Application Centre address: Lviv, Bogdana Hmelnytskogo str., 176, Business Centre Lemberg.
You do not need to pre-book an appointment at the VAC.
For full visa guidance please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-family-members-of-british-nationals-in-ukraine-and-ukrainian-nationals-in-ukraine-and-the-uk
Ukraine travel advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ukraine
Today, the Prime Minister spoke in the House of Commons about the UK’s response to Russia’s incursion in eastern Ukraine – including an immediate package of sanctions that targets individuals and organisations linked to the Russian state and of strategic or economic significance to them, and confirming that these sanctions would be extended in the event of further Russian aggression.
We strongly condemn Russia’s decision to recognise Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states and order his troops there, and have been clear that any breach of Ukraine’s sovereign and territorial integrity would result in severe and immediate sanctions on Russia.
Alongside our allies, we will continue to take a hard-headed approach, stressing that there is still time for the Kremlin to step back and choose a different path through diplomacy instead of making a grave miscalculation with damaging consequences.
Yesterday, the Foreign Secretary urged Russia to step back from the brink and reaffirmed our unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty.
We also announced a £20 million increase in our financial support to Ukraine, bringing the total to £100 million alongside arms deliveries and military training to help our Ukrainian friends defend themselves.
We must not be lulled into a false sense of security by Russia claiming some of their troops have been withdrawn from the Ukrainian border and remain vigilant against false flag attacks which could be used as a n excuse for war.
Today, the Foreign Secretary set out how are toughening of our sanctions regime, allowing us to sanction any individual, business or sector linked to the Kremlin as part of our strategy to crack down on Russia’s aggressive action.
I am proud of how we are stepping up to take the lead in defence of freedom and democracy through credible deterrence and diplomacy, and by joining forces with our allies, we will show that there can never be rewards for aggression.
Over the last couple of weeks, as this deeply worrying situation on the Ukrainian border has continued to develop at pace, I've been reading and hearing the very real concerns constituents have about this issue. I believe we must do everything to find a peaceful resolution, which safeguards Ukraine's sovereignty and de-escalates tensions. This is even more vital when considering the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has brought for all of us, as well as the threat of climate change we face as a planet - which will require international unity and cooperation.
The Prime Minister made a statement to the House earlier this week on the situation in Ukraine, and I am pleased we are continuing to work closely with our international allies to stand against Russian aggression and protect Ukraine’s sovereignty.
The continued campaign of Russian aggression towards Ukraine is deeply concerning to all of us and we must do all we can to support Ukraine and protect her borders.
That is why the Government have acted to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend herself, and continue to seek de-escalation through diplomatic discussions. Alongside our allies, we have made it clear any Russian incursion into Ukraine would be met with coordinated and severe economic sanctions.
We have been repeatedly clear that further Russian incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake and I have been assured we will continue to work with our allies to stand up for the sovereignty of Ukraine.
In the days and weeks ahead, I'll continue to closely follow developments on behalf of constituents, attending Government briefings for MPs on this evolving situation.