Alliance Party Deputy Leader, Stephen Farry MP, has described the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a blatant act of aggression.
He has stressed the urgent need for comprehensive sanctions against the Putin regime, and called for the UK to play a leadership role in a genuine collective approach in addressing the inevitable humanitarian and refugee crisis.
“This is dark time for the people of Ukraine, and brings wider implications for Europe and the wider world,” Stephen Farry said.
“Russia’s invasion is a blatant act of aggression against an independent sovereign state. It is a flagrant breach of the United Nations Charter and wider international law.
“Our first thoughts lie with the people of Ukraine. Horrible days lie ahead in which many civilians and soldiers will be brutally killed.
“Russia stands exposed as a pariah state. This requires a substantive and sustained response from the international community, including the United Kingdom.
“Sanctions are the main tool at our disposal. A full spectrum of sanctions should have been imposed much earlier, but now need to be put in place. These must especially target the Putin regime and his wider network of influence, including here in the UK. Sanctions will hurt Russia as it has a much weaker economy than the G7 and many others. However, we must accept that sanctions will not be painless for our economy too. But much more is at stake.
“It is also right for NATO to bolster defences on its members close to the front line.
“Already we are seeing a growing humanitarian crisis with refugees and internally-placed persons. We can expect this to accelerate. Addressing this challenge cannot be left to those countries in Eastern Europe. This needs to be genuine collective response across Europe.
“I am calling on the UK Government to take its responsibilities seriously in this regard, and to provide proactive leadership. On Tuesday, when I raised this scenario with the Prime Minister I was given a dismissive response.
“This has to change.”