Lisa Nandy MP: We stand in solidarity with Ukraine
Who could fail to be shocked by the images of missile attacks on Ukrainian residential blocks or moved by the desperate plight of families struggling to flee the country?
Only four days after the invasion began, Ukraine’s health ministry reported that more than 350 civilians had been killed, including 14 children. This invasion is a blatant violation of international law.
An attack on Ukraine is an attack on democracy.
All those who believe in the triumph of democracy over dictatorship and freedom over tyranny must support the Ukrainian people at this time.
The Government has said that the UK will do everything in its power to help Ukrainians defend their homeland.
We must now match our words with action.
The hardest sanctions must be taken against all those linked to Putin and against the Russian government’s interests to ensure his regime faces the severest possible consequences. Russia must be cut out of the Western economic system.
It is right that Britain has provided support to Ukraine to defend itself - and this should continue.
We must also take steps to reinforce NATO members bordering Russia and Ukraine.
The influence of corrupt Russian money must also be removed from the UK.
Despite warning after warning, the Government has failed to act, leaving Britain as the destination of choice for those who hide their ill-gotten wealth.
I welcome the Government’s stronger range of economic sanctions and new measures to stem the flow of dirty money from Russia, but it should not have taken an invasion of Ukraine for the Government to act.
This must mark a turning point.
The UN says that up to four million people could flee Ukraine making it the largest refugee crisis Europe has witnessed for decades.
The Government must provide urgent humanitarian assistance to help those in need.
We must also establish a simple safe route to help those escaping the bloodshed who want to come to the UK to do so.
It is unacceptable that stringent visa requirements are still being imposed on those fleeing war.
We have a number of Ukrainian residents in our borough and Wigan is already showing its solidarity with them.