AUGB LETTER TO FOREIGN SECRETARY: IN THE EVENT OF INVASION, RESPOND IMMEDIATELY, DECISIVELY AND FORCEFULLY

The AUGB has written separately to the UK’s Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary and the leaders of the Opposition, LibDems and the SNP in Parliament as Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity has come under an even more significant threat with the build-up of Russian forces on its borders.

The letters recognise the substantial support that the United Kingdom has already provided to strengthen Ukraine’s defensive capabilities, enhance democratic institutions and develop civil society. In particular, this country’s important military assistance provided through Operation Orbital and its lead in a multinational maritime training initiative aimed at enhancing the capabilities of Ukraine’s Navy to act in the Black Sea is duly acknowledged. The latest announcement by the Secretary of State for Defence of a further security assistance package is also very welcome as is his firm and unambiguous statement on the situation in Ukraine on 17 January.

 Reference was made to the AUGB’s letter to the Prime Minister ahead of the NATO Summit of Allied leaders held in June, in which the AUGB sought an assurance that the United Kingdom would, amongst other things, promote the acceleration of work on a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Ukraine. Despite the continuing prospect of a Russian armed invasion of Ukraine, the AUGB believes that it is vital that the United Kingdom’s support for Ukraine does not waver and that the UK Government considers even stronger measures, in addition to continuing to pursue all diplomatic discussions and channels.

The Foreign Secretary has been urged to:

All of the letters conclude that Ukraine and its people have the right to choose their own direction and to live in peace. As one of Ukraine’s closest international partners, the United Kingdom must continue to show leadership in supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty by doing all within its power to prevent a further Russian invasion of Ukraine and, in doing so, to remove the very real threat to peace in Europe.