MPs condemn ‘heinous’ invasion of Ukraine

Emily Thornberry and Jeremy Corbyn speak out over ‘unprovoked’ attack by Russia

Friday, 25th February — By Charlotte Chambers

Emily Thornberry_Labour

Emily Thornberry: ‘It’s completely outrageous and unjustified and this heinous violation of international law will have tragic consequences’

ISLINGTON’S MPs joined the condemnation of Russia as Vladimir Putin started an invasion of Ukraine with air strikes on several cities including Kyiv.

As civilians fled to underground stations for protection from the bombing, Emily Thornberry said the UK – along with other Western countries and NATO – must do more to help.

Last night (Thursday), Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky warned that “this is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe”, as reports came through of Russia seizing the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Ms Thornberry said: “It’s completely outrageous and unjustified and this heinous violation of international law will have tragic consequences.”

She said Mr Putin was leading an “unprovoked” attack because he “has a world view that he is surrounded by his enemies” and that he alone can “protect” his country from them.

Ms Thornberry, the MP for Islington South and Finsbury, said: “He thinks Russia should hold tight to him because he’s going to protect them against encircling enemies. He’s had supreme power for far too long without any challenge. He’s losing his perspective and becoming ever more paranoid.”

Jeremy Corbyn: ‘Russia must withdraw its troops and return to diplomacy’

The Shadow Attorney General for Labour said the Government was not doing enough to oppose the invasion – and cited sanctions imposed by Germany, including pulling the plug on a gas pipleline, as an example of how far the UK needed to go.

“We’ve sanctioned three oligarchs and four or five minor banks,” said Ms Thornberry. “We’ve had months of knowing this was what Russia was going to do. We should have put together a package of modern sanctions that target not just a country but an individual.”

Ms Thornberry said the UK was well placed to hurt Mr Putin – in his pocket – by going after his friends, many of whom, she claimed, had invested “the Russian people’s money” in property in London, specifically Knightsbridge.

She said there were laws already in place – under the Magnitsky Sanctions – that could be used to target “dirty” Russian money, and demanded to see them used.

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn described Russia’s attack as “shocking” and warned “it will inevitably lead to more fear, misery and death. It is a frightening escalation of the ongoing crisis.”

He added: “Russia must withdraw its troops and return to diplomacy.

“If it does not, dark days are ahead for Ukraine, Russia and all of Europe.”

Last week, Mr Corbyn signed a statement published by the Stop the War Coalition, which called for a diplomatic resolution “on a basis which recognises the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination and addresses Russia’s security concerns”.

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