Petition Pledge any necessary military support to defend Ukraine

We find the threat of economic sanctions to be utterly insufficient to deter Russia and want the Government to pledge to defend Ukraine, up to and including full-scale military intervention if required.

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The United Kingdom has a centuries-old, time-honoured tradition of opposing tyranny; dating back to the Napoleonic wars and even Magna Carta. Our history is full of examples of the government and the people choosing the difficult path in order to combat slavers, despots, and other infringers on human rights. We should seek, we believe, to live up to the example our predecessors set. In doing so, we should hold to the spirit of the Budapest memorandum and guarantee the sovereignty of Ukraine.

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Government responded

This response was given on 22 April 2022

The UK continues to respond decisively to Russia’s unprovoked and sustained attack of Ukraine. We will continue to supply military and humanitarian support to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty.

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The UK was swift to condemn Russia’s recent assault on Ukraine, which was an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign, democratic state. This brutal attack is a grave violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and is wholly contradictory to Russia’s commitments in the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris and the NATO-Russia Founding Act. It also breaches the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, to which Russia is a signatory, and which states that each party will respect the independence and sovereignty, and the existing borders, of Ukraine.

We support President Zelenskyy in his efforts to resolve this war. Ukrainians should not be forced into concessions. We call on the Russian Government to halt its baseless and aggressive rhetoric, to deescalate tensions and to engage in meaningful talks.

We have always been clear there would be massive consequences and a severe cost for any Russian military incursion into Ukraine. As a result of their actions, we have imposed the largest package of sanctions in UK history, developed with our international partners. The sanctions further isolate Russia from the global financial system and will constrain its military development for years to come. As of 14 April 2022, the UK has sanctioned over 1200 Russian individuals, entities and subsidiaries since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The UK continues to stand up for Ukrainian rights and values, and its legitimate, democratically elected government, and we remain committed to supporting the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within internationally recognised borders.

However, the UK Government has always been clear that this is not a NATO conflict. Sending combat troops to engage directly with Russian forces could trigger a wider war between Russia and all NATO member states. Similar concerns surround any UK or NATO no-fly zone over Ukraine. Ukraine does, however, have the right to defend itself and the UK will do more to help Ukraine do that.

To date the UK has supplied Ukraine with lethal and non-lethal aid including over 5,000 light anti-armour defensive systems (Next-Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons Systems, or NLAWs) as well as almost 200 Javelin anti-tank missiles, Starstreak air defence systems, and over 200,000 items of protective gear.

The UK is also leading the efforts of partners to bolster the Ukrainian armed forces. On 31 March 2022, the Defence Secretary hosted the second Defence Donor Conference for Ukraine, bringing together over 35 international partners to discuss the latest situation in Ukraine and the country’s most pressing requirements for lethal and non-lethal military aid. The first virtual donor conference took place on 25 February 2022 with 25 countries.

On the 9 April, the Prime Minister (PM) met President Zelenskyy in Kyiv. The PM reiterated that the UK will do everything in its power to support Ukraine’s long-term security and prosperity. The PM set out further military assistance of 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems which is in addition to the further £100 million worth of military equipment the UK will send to Ukraine's armed forces, announced on 8 April 2022. This includes more Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, additional anti-tank missiles, precision munitions and further non-lethal military equipment. This builds on the £350million of military aid that the UK has already provided.

Your petition raised human rights violations. There is strong evidence that Russia’s use of indiscriminate force against innocent civilians in its illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine amounts to war crimes. The UK, along with our allies and partners, have been clear the Putin regime must be held to account. This is Putin’s war of choice, and he must bear the consequences.

The UK led efforts to refer the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court, (ICC) which has now secured the support of 40 other countries. The ICC investigation is already underway, and we will make every effort to support it and other international investigations as appropriate.

Please be assured that the UK has a clear mission: diplomatically, politically, economically and militarily as we continue our enduring bilateral partnership with Ukraine. This hideous and barbaric venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure. The UK will do everything in its power to support Ukraine’s brave fight against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion and ensure its long-term security and prosperity.

Ministry of Defence

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Other parliamentary business

MPs discuss the Ukraine crisis

In the last two weeks MPs have discussed the crisis in Ukraine almost every day in the House of Commons:

  • Ministers have made several statements updating MPs on the situation in Ukraine, and the UK's response to this
  • MPs have debated and approved legislation to introduce sanctions against Russia
  • Opposition and backbench MPs have secured debates to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, and relations with Russia

You can find links to transcripts of all these discussions below.

Read transcripts of recent discussions in the House of Commons about Ukraine and Russia

You can find below a list of all the statements and debates about Ukraine and Russia in the last two weeks, with links to the transcripts of discussions by MPs.

Find out more about the Ukraine crisis

The House of Commons Library has published a series of briefings about the Ukraine crisis, with information about how the situation has developed, and the international response.

Find out more: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9455/

Find out about future discussions in the House of Commons

Find out about upcoming discussions in the House of Commons here: https://whatson.parliament.uk/

Transcripts of all discussions in the House of Commons are published here a few hours after they happen: https://hansard.parliament.uk/

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference: https://learning.parliament.uk/en/your-uk-parliament-newsletter-sign-up-form/

MPs investigate issues relating to the Russia-Ukraine crisis

MPs on the Defence Committee have two ongoing inquiries into issues relating to the war in Ukraine. The inquiries are focusing on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the UK's role in NATO.

Find out more about the Committee's Russia-Ukraine inquiry: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/6453/russiaukraine-crisis/

Find out more about the Committee's US, UK & NATO inquiry:
https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1428/us-uk-and-nato/

Across the two inquiries the Committee has held evidence sessions which have looked at:

  • Russian military build-up on the Ukraine border and it's invasion of Ukraine

  • Russian security demands

  • Provisions of military assistance to Ukrainian forces

  • Immediate and longer-term implications for NATO of military action

  • Effectiveness of UK and NATO decision making

You can find details of past evidence sessions on the web pages for each inquiry.

What is the Defence Committee?

The Defence Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that look into the work of the Ministry of Defence and its' associated public bodies.

Find out more about the committee on its website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/24/defence-committee/

You can also follow the committee on Twitter for updates on its work: https://twitter.com/CommonsDefence

The Defence Committee is a select committee. Find out how select committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference: https://parliament.us16.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=3ad7e4c57a864f07e4db008c4&id=26d0645ea9

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