Putin has started unprovoked war of aggression and there’s no excuse for it, says Gedling MP Tom Randall

Gedling’s MP, Tom Randall, has said he wants the U.K. to take the toughest measures possible against Russia.

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Adam Toms
Adam Tomshttps://pointsmoot.wordpress.com/
Adam has a keen interest in local politics and writes a number of articles for Gedling Eye covering local council activities and political issues affecting the borough.

Gedling’s MP, Tom Randall, has said he wants the U.K. to take the toughest measures possible against Russia after the country invaded Ukraine last week.

Russian troops entered Ukraine from the east, from Belarus in the north, and from the already annexed region of Crimea in the south during the early hours of Thursday morning.

Fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces has centred on major Ukrainian cities and sites of strategic military importance such as airports.

It is thought that President Putin’s plans for a swift victory have not transpired as stiff Ukrainian resistance has meant Russian troops have so far failed to occupy major cities such as Kyiv and Kharkiv.

The West has imposed harsh economic sanctions on Putin’s regime and continue to supply Ukraine with weapons and money.

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced on Monday that the U.K. has banned British people and businesses from making transactions with the Russian central bank, its finance ministry, and its wealth fund.

On Friday the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced an asset freeze against all major Russian banks, as well as a ban on access to sterling and clearing payments through the U.K.

Legislation will be brought forward on Tuesday banning all major Russian companies from raising finance on U.K. markets and prohibiting the Russian state from raising sovereign debt using U.K. markets.

Five ultra-rich oligarchs will also be added to the list of Russians banned from entering Britain and prohibited from doing business with U.K.

The Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, has said that more individuals will be sanctioned weekly using a “hit list”.

Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his military command to put nuclear deterrence forces on high alert on Sunday, in response to what he called “aggressive statements” by NATO countries.

The Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, has said he does not think Putin will use Russia’s nuclear weapons.

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He said: “As much as he might be ambitious for Ukraine, I don’t think he wants to go into that space.”

MP for Gedling Tom Randall said: “The response for the Prime Minister has been serious, including a series of sanctions.

“We are aiding and assisting the Ukrainians with equipment.

Russia was banned from communicating with finance institutions in US, UK, Europe and Canadausing Swift, an international system that enables financial exchanges via encoded messages, on Saturday.

Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela are also excluded from the network.

Mr Randall said this will hinder Russia, but says even more can be done.

He added: “Closing Russian access to Swift will now have a real effect on the ability of Russia to actually operate.

“But there are some further steps that we can take and further sanctions and assistance are necessary.

“My voice is just one of hundreds of thousands but I hope that we can get to a position where out European allies can take the toughest measures possible against Russia.”

“Ukraine is not a member of NATO but we need to send a clear signal that we stand by our NATO allies and we need to make sure that this does not go any further than its already gone.”

He also warned that the conflict could have far reaching consequences.

“We are potentially in a very dark period and the consequences of that could include far reaching starvation in places like Africa, as well as other effects that we can’t quite comprehend yet.

“This could be a very serious situation.”

Nonetheless, he says he is pleased that the West’s response is harsher than that seen after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

“What has happened so far has been a game changer because normally if something bad happens we say that this is a bad thing and move on but we then come back to sort of how we were.

“But this isn’t that, is it?

“We’ve got a war in Europe – I thought we’d moved away from that.

“This is an unprovoked war of aggression that Putin has started. There’s no excuse for it.

“Ukraine has the right to defend itself, has the right of independence, and she has the right to determine her own future.

“If she wants to have a future that leans towards the West then that is for Ukrainians to decide.

“The Putins of this world are the ones who try and exploit open Western societies.

“Because Western societies are weak because they are open, we have debate and democracy.

“Autocratic forces will try and exploit that.”

On reports that the Conservative Party had received nearly £2 million from Russian donors since the Boris Johnson became Prime Minister he added: “To be a donor in the UK, you have to be registered to vote and a UK citizen.

“This entitles you to donate money to a cause.

“If there are foreign assets in the UK and these are a result of malign activity then that would be within the scope of any sanctions regime that we adopt.

“That’s a sensible approach given the nature of the Russian regime as we know it.”

Gedling Borough Council’s Civic Centre was lit up in the colours of the Ukrainian flag on Friday.

The deputy leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor Michael Payne, in a joint letter to the Ukrainian ambassador in the U.K. with the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Please know we will do all we can to support and care for our Ukrainian community here in Nottinghamshire and Nottingham at this incredibly difficult time.

“We stand side-by-side with the people of Ukraine and pray for the safety of those who are responding to the needs of others”.

On Saturday Cllr Payne condemned the Government’s approach to the entry of Ukrainian refugees into the U.K.

He said: “Ukrainians fleeing war being asked to pick fruit to gain entry to the UK.

“This tawdry UK Government doesn’t speak for me!”

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