A message from our Chairman, Lord Risby

For many years now I have acted as Chairman of the British Ukrainian Society, an organisation that seeks closer ties between the United Kingdom and Ukraine. We have welcomed countless Ukrainians into Parliament as part of our programme of events and I have gained many valued friendships throughout this time.

It was with shock and dismay that I watched rockets being fired and tanks rolling into various regions of Ukraine in what we now understand is a full-scale invasion. Ukraine is a peaceable country that has sought to deter such a conflict all along without compromising the principle of self-determination. This is a conflict that is not of Ukraine’s making.

We have hosted politicians, former political prisoners, authors and other public figures who have repeatedly warned such a thing could happen. We have looked to share these expert opinions with our members, friends, decision makers and the interested public to increase awareness and help the UK better understand the complexities of Ukraine and its geopolitical position.

We have a bilateral relationship that is extremely strong and military assistance to Ukraine has been longstanding. The UK has trained the Ukrainian army and supplied it military aid and defensive weapons, particularly since the annexation of Crimea. Boris Johnson has said the UK will receive Ukrainians displaced by the conflict.

I want to express my sincerest support for Ukraine and my deepest concern at the horrifying situation that has unfolded. I believe the United Kingdom will continue to do all it can to support Ukraine during these dark days, and I will personally endeavour to do all in my power to ensure that this happens.

Richard Risby