Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey: “The era of Russian interference in this country must come to an end. Much of the legislation needed is ready to go – it must be brought before MPs immediately. Parliament must sit this weekend, day and night if we have to, to pass the necessary measures and impose the most punitive of sanctions upon Putin’s regime.”
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said parliament must sit this weekend to pass measures against Vladmir Putin and his cronies in Moscow,
Commenting following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on Ukraine, Davey said: “At this dark moment we must renew our commitments of international cooperation and stand with our allies against this horrendous invasion.
“For too long we in the West have been complacent about the threat which Putin poses to our allies and to the fundamental values which underpin our way of life. No more. We must stand with the people of Ukraine and provide them with humanitarian and military aid, while unleashing the severest of sanctions against Putin and his cronies.
“The era of Russian interference in this country must come to an end. Much of the legislation needed is ready to go – it must be brought before MPs immediately. Parliament must sit this weekend, day and night if we have to, to pass the necessary measures and impose the most punitive of sanctions upon Putin’s regime.”
“A terrible human tragedy is now unfolding before our very eyes. We must stand with the people of Ukraine. Putin’s maniacal ambitions will stop at nothing. The blood of every innocent Ukrainian who perishes in this entirely unprovoked and illegal invasion is on his hands.
“Let us also not forget the human cost for the Russian people who are now embroiled in a war they did not ask for by a leader they cannot get rid of. It is time to let rip on the most severe of punitive sanctions. That must include an immediate end to the era of Russian interference in our country. Liberal Democrats stand ready to support a special extended session of Parliament to immediately pass the necessary legislation.”
Earlier, Mr Johnson said the UK “cannot and will not just look away” at Russia’s “hideous and barbaric” attack on Ukraine.
The PM said President Vladimir Putin had launched a “vast invasion by land, by sea and by air” without provocation.
He said the UK and allies will launch a “massive package” of sanctions to “hobble” Russia’s economy.
In a pre-recorded TV statement, Mr Johnson stressed that Ukraine was “not some faraway country of which we know little”.
“We have Ukrainian friends in this country, neighbours, co-workers. Ukraine is a country that for decades has enjoyed freedom and democracy and the right to choose its own destiny,” he said.
The prime minister said the UK and the world could not allow that freedom “just to be snuffed out”.
As a result, the UK and its allies would agree a “massive package of economic sanctions” in a bid to “hobble” the Russian economy, Mr Johnson said, before warning that the West would need to cease its dependence on Russian oil and gas.
“Our mission is clear: diplomatically, politically, economically and eventually militarily, this hideous and barbaric venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure,” he said.
Ukrainians hold a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine outside Downing Street There are around 35,000 Ukrainian-born people living in the UK, according to the most-recent ONS data.
Meanwhile the head of the Western defensive alliance Nato, Jens Stoltenberg, condemned the invasion as a “blatant violation” of international law and said he is calling a virtual summit of alliance leaders on Friday to discuss the “serious threat” to security in the region.
“This is a grave moment for the security of Europe. Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine is putting countless lives at risk,” he said.
In a pre-dawn TV statement on Thursday, President Putin said Russia did not plan to occupy Ukraine, but demanded its soldiers lay down their weapons, before warning that Moscow’s response would be “instant” if anyone tried to take on Russia.