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In support of the sovereign nation of Ukraine

By Fleur Thomas

The dramatic events of the past few days have exposed the worst fears that were held regarding president Putin and his regime’s intentions. Russia has launched an unprovoked and illegal invasion with no regard for human life or the rule of international law.

Only last week, Russian foreign minister Lavrov told the British foreign secretary that Russia would not invade Ukraine. However [yesterday] we all woke up to the heartbreaking reports of Ukraine being attacked from three fronts. Russia has lied to the world and to their own people, and they continue to do so on a daily basis with their ongoing disinformation campaign.

The human cost has already been immense and is rapidly worsening. This is not only an assault on the brave people of Ukraine and their sovereignty but also on the security and freedom of Europe and the rest of the world.

President Putin is deliberately misleading his people, by distorting language and making his own reality. It is important for us all to rebut the false narratives that Russia is creating in order to try to justify that which is truly unjustifiable.

During my career, I’ve had the opportunity to closely follow NATO’s work and know that there is no rush or pressure to expand membership. NATO will never allow a third country to be held hostage for its aspiration to join this purely defensive alliance. Unlike Russia’s illegal attempts at expansion, NATO’s community is not associated with bloodshed and misery, but with the values of security, decency and trust.

It is not for any other nation to dictate Ukraine’s future. Ukraine’s choices must be her own, not ours, and certainly not president Putin’s.

It is clear from his writings and well-publicised speeches that president Putin’s intention is to recreate a Greater Russia with more of Europe under his influence. We must unite globally to stop his aggressive and illegal ambitions.

The UK is proud to lead by example. We have equipped Ukrainian forces with Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAW), and have seen other NATO partners provide essential equipment. We have put together an unprecedented package of strong economic sanctions and are working with our allies to maximise the pressure on Russia with further measures, like excluding it from using the SWIFT payments system.

We were pleased to see Germany implementing strong measures with their suspension of Nord Stream 2. Strong condemnation of Russia at the highest levels in Luxembourg has demonstrated the unity of NATO partners.

At this dark defining moment in European history, we stand with Ukraine, its people and its democracy. We will continue to support them economically, politically and defensively.

Originally published by RTL Today



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