Thank you for writing to me on this incredibly important and worrying situation with the build-up of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine and the anticipated invasion.
I have been following the news over the past few weeks with serious concern regarding the situation in Ukraine which remains extremely precarious. I firmly stand with the Ukrainian people in the face of President Putin’s threats and his clear desire to incorporate Ukraine back into the Russian territory.
It is important to remember that when the Soviet Union collapsed, Britain, Russia and the United States made a solemn agreement with Ukraine: in exchange for giving up their nuclear weapons, Ukraine’s security was to be guaranteed. And its sovereignty would be respected.
However, a significant build-up of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border has resulted in a dangerous escalation of tension in the region. Russia’s actions are utterly unjustifiable and have the potential of sparking conflict.
Myself and Labour stand resolute in our support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. Only the people of Ukraine have the democratic right to determine their own political destiny and they have clearly spoken in favour of a democratic future.
They have a way to go to tackle the issues of corruption in Ukraine but we should stand squarely with their right to self-determination.
Therefore I am currently backing the steps the Government has been taking and their diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the threats and the provision of military aid to Ukraine. However, we want the Government to go much further in their measures to tackle economic crime and financial laundering through the City of London.
Crucially we need to tackle this situation on a global level and embrace the support of our NATO allies. I support a united approach that uses the full spectrum of our capabilities to deter the Russian government’s ambitions. We must show that any attempts to undermine Ukraine’s integrity will be met with a strong, consistent and resolute response.
There are four simple steps Labour are calling for:
1. First, we must lift the veil on the true nature of ownership of property and other assets
in the UK. That requires a registration of overseas entities bill. There is no reason not
to get on with it.
2. Second, we need radical reform of Companies House. There is no good reason for
ownership to be hidden behind layer after layer of shell companies whose only
purpose is to obscure the facts from public view. Companies House must be
empowered to become a vigilant guardian of propriety, not left as a passive library of
3. Third, the government must act on the recommendations made in the intelligence and
security committee’s Russia report. That means dealing with shortcomings in the
unexplained wealth order regime and for a register of members of the Lords or
Commons who serve on the boards of overseas companies.
4. Fourth, we must ensure that the elections bill currently going through parliament
requires political donations to be open and transparent, and to come from money
generated in a legitimate fashion on tough economic and financial sanctions in response to any fresh Russian invasion into Ukraine.
In short, it is crucial that we take decisive action now to ensure that this situation isn’t allowed to further escalate. I will be supporting all efforts from across the House and internationally to protect the Ukrainian people and the sovereignty of the Ukrainian state.