Posted: Tue 1st Mar 2022

“Let me put this on the record, Putin is a War Criminal” – Alyn and Deeside MS Jack Sargeant

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 1st, 2022

The Welsh parliament member for Alyn and Deeside, Jack Sargeant has said Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is a “war criminal” and the suffering he is inflicting on the innocent people of Ukraine is “clearly a war crime. ”

TV footage over recent days has shown the aftermath of Russian artillery strikes which have targeted residential areas in Kharkiv and Kyiv.

The UN has said there have been “at least 406 civilian casualties, including at least 102 dead.”

“Humanitarian needs are skyrocketing in the hardest-hit areas, and civilian children, women and men are being injured and killed.” UNHCR said.

International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Karim A.A. Khan QC has said that following a preliminary examination of the situation in Ukraine, “there is a reasonable basis to proceed with opening an investigation.”

“I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine.” He said.

In an Emergency Question in the Senedd this afternoon, Jack Sargeant asked the First Minister Mark Drakeford to make a statement on the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking in the Chamber, Mr Sargeant said: “The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the suffering that it has brought with it, is clearly a war crime. ”

He said: “Putin is a war criminal, I repeat that for the record in this Senedd—Putin is a war criminal.”

The Alyn and Deeside MS said: “With so many being forced from their homes, fleeing for their lives, it is important that Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom play a leading role in welcoming those seeking sanctuary.”

“First minister, can I ask you what conversations you have had with your UK counterparts about removing the barriers to those seeking sanctuary?”

“Can I ask you what additional support can the Welsh Government put in place for those that arrive from Ukraine?”

“And, finally, First Minister, what support can be provided to Ukrainians in Wales who are watching these scenes unfold and dealing with the accompanying trauma?”

In reply, Mark Drakeford said: “I’ve had a series of opportunities to speak with UK Ministers and the First Minister of Scotland and the Permanent Secretary of Northern Ireland.”

“Meetings this week do need to focus on the part that the United Kingdom can play, and Wales can play within it, in offering sanctuary to those who are fleeing from the awful scenes we see in Ukraine.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier today the UK could take in 200,000 or more Ukrainian refugees as the UK government extends its help to more people fleeing the war.

The scheme allowing close relatives of Ukrainian people settled in the UK to come over will be widened to include adult parents, grandparents, children over 18 and siblings.

UK firms will also be able to sponsor a Ukrainian entering the country.

Mark Drakeford said: “I see the Prime Minister has made further welcome announcements today, but there’s more that can and should be done, and I’m pleased that there are open channels of communication between the four nations of the United Kingdom to work together on that agenda. ”

The Welsh Government has said it will provide £4m in financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine to help support those in desperate need.

Speaking in the chamber, First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“We stand in support of the Ukrainian people who are bravely resisting this unprovoked and brutal act of war.

“The Welsh Government will provide £4m in financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, which will help to provide crucial support to many who are in desperate need. We are also assessing what surplus medical equipment could usefully be sent to the country.

“Wales, as a Nation of Sanctuary, stands ready to welcome people fleeing Ukraine. Tomorrow we will be holding urgent discussions with local authority leaders to ensure preparations are in place to accept refugees.

“I have also written to the Prime Minister urging the UK Government to strengthen current arrangements to enable Ukrainian citizens to come to the UK quickly and safely. It is vital people can seek safe sanctuary here without bureaucracy delaying that process.

“The UK Government must honour its duty to allow people to seek safety in situations such as those we are all witnessing today with great sadness and repulsion.”

The Russian attack on Ukraine has caused the displacement of many tens of thousands of Ukrainian people from their homes and marked the onset of what could be the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe for decades.

Anyone who is able to help can consider making a financial donation to the British Red Cross, UNICEF UK or to the UNHCR UK.

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