Phil Wilson

Fighting for the issues that matter most to you

Political Consequences of Russian Aggression

Speech to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 'The Political Consequences of Russian aggression in Ukraine' on October 12th, 2016

'The political consequences of Russian aggression in Ukraine are immense. And not only in that region.

The assembly must continue to stand by its commitment to a peaceful settlement in Ukraine and the return of Ukraine's territorial integrity.

Russia's actions have destabilised the whole of region and destabilised relationships with the rest of the EU. The sanctions on Russia are hurting its economy, but still Russia tries to deflect attention from its actions in Ukraine by military action elsewhere, which is doing nothing to raise the standing of Russia in the international community.

Their approach seems to be reflective of a world view which says only the strong must prosper.

Russia has moved nuclear missiles to Kaliningrad and massed military forces in the Baltic.

Russia, I'm afraid to say, have shown a complete disregard for international law and is trying to redraw maps of that region by force or the threat of force.

Their action in Syria has also helped to distract from the situation in Ukraine.

However, it has gone further than that.

Initially, President Putin said his action in Syria was an attack on Islamic fundamentalism and Dae'sh.

Rather than doing that, it is obvious Putin is prepared to go to any length to maintain their military base in Syria to give them access to the Mediterranean even if it means supporting Assad who is intent on slaughtering his own people to preserve his own position of power.

Russia is complicit in this. Russia's actions are indiscriminate, especially in Aleppo and include the destruction of an aid convoy.

Russia’s actions have been called a war crime by observers.

I have been to Baghdad and seen the coalition’s military operations and how they are deployed in such a way to ensure the minimum number of civilian casualties.

As far as the UK is concerned there has been no report of any civilian deaths as a result of our action.

This cannot be said of Russia's action and that of Assad.

Ukraine, Kaliningrad, Syria: Russia's activities at the moment are a threat to international stability in several regions. So I believe Russia's flouting of international law should be denounced. And I believe, since it is the Assemblies responsibility to defend human rights, democracy and the rule of law, we must stand firm in our approach to Russia."

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