Statement on Ukraine by Tower Hamlets Mayoral candidate Rabina Khan

Lib Dems say #WeStandWithUkraine

Lib Dems call for Ukrainian refugees to be welcomed to Britain without conditions.

Lib Dems call for tougher sanctions on Putin's cronies.

As the Liberal Democrat Mayoral candidate in Tower Hamlets, a borough that has welcomed and been home to people from diverse cultures, including Ukrainians and Eastern Europeans, I condemn the barbaric and unjustifed actions of Russia. I am sure that I speak for others in our close-knit, multi-cultural community in supporting innocent victims, including children, who are being targeted. We send our thoughts to those who have lost family members, lost their homes and been displaced by the violence. It is not just Ukrainian nationals who are suffering, but African migrants in Ukraine who are being subjected to discrimination and prevented from fleeing to safety.

Sir Ed Davey, the Lib Dem Leader, who feels that the 'rest of the cabinet could respond to the Russian invasion' without Boris Johnson said:

“We live in a country where no one is above the law. We should be proud of that, and that’s what distinguishes us from Putin’s Russia.”

Layla Moran, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, feels that the government should impose tougher sanctions.

“This week I used Parliamentary privilege to name 35 of Putin’s cronies who were on the Navalny list and should be sanctioned. After today’s new sanctions we’ve now sanctioned two of the 35. Must. Do. Better."

Other European countries bordering Russia and those that were previously ruled by Moscow are understandably anxious. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, for example, voted for independence from the USSR in 1991 and joined NATO in 2004, which just added to Putin’s list of grudges.

London has witnessed protests from Ukrainian residents, but even Russian citizens are denouncing Putin’s actions. Prominent figures, including actors and musicians, have criticised Putin and been punished as a result.

As Sir Ed says the Lib Dems are strong supporters of NATO and vocal critics of Putin. Sir Ed proposed the oligarch tax to help the most vulnerable struggling to pay energy bills, which would ensure that the Russian government and energy companies foot the bill for any subsequent rise in gas prices.

In one of the most impoverished boroughs in the UK, not only will this tax make it clear to Putin that we will not tolerate his aggression, but will also protect local communities from his actions.

The East End of London has a long history of welcoming refugees. I believe that the UK should welcome Ukrainians fleeing the war that Putin has brought to their country, without the inhumane restrictions that our Government has imposed.

We have enormous respect for the Ukrainian people and their military who are doing their utmost to protect their people and their country. It is crucial to stand united, irrespective of our political affliation, in supporting Ukrainian citizens and refusing to contribute to the Putin regime in any way, financially or culturally.

As Sir Ed said, “We have to totally isolate Russia and Putin."


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