APRIL 2022: News from local MP Chris Skidmore
Shock and horror at Ukraine invasion
AS the local MP, I share the shock and horror that local residents feel towards Russia’s appalling invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine, along with an instinctive urge to want to support the Ukrainian people in any way we can.
Putin’s regime is rightly being punished with the most severe economic sanctions Russia has ever seen and I am proud that the UK government is the largest bilateral donor to Ukraine, providing almost £400 million in aid alongside defensive support and our offers of sanctuary to innocent Ukrainians.
Over 100,000 sponsors signed up for our uncapped Homes for Ukraine scheme within the first day of the scheme going live, supporting our national effort to help Ukrainians fleeing this deadly conflict.
The scheme allows sponsors in the UK – who will receive £350 per month in support – to register their interest in providing homes or spare rooms for a minimum stay of six months to nominated individual Ukrainians or Ukrainian families.
On the economic side, 1,000 individuals and entities have been sanctioned, which has dealt a severe blow to the Russian economy, hobbling Russia’s military-industrial complex, and personally damaging Putin and his inner circle of corrupt oligarchs.
I was pleased to vote for the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act which provides new powers to sanction a further 370 key oligarchs and supporters of the Putin regime – 51 of these oligarchs are worth more than £100 billion.
Furthermore, we are phasing out all imports of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022, which currently support around 8% of UK demand – giving businesses enough time to ensure a smooth transition so that consumers will not be affected, and working with them this year to secure further supplies.
New legislation has made it a criminal offence for any aircraft owned, operated, or chartered by anyone connected with Russia or sanctioned individuals or entities to enter UK airspace or land in the UK, and will also include the power to detain any aircraft owned by persons connected with Russia.
All these are just some of the higher-profile actions that the UK government is taking so that we can stand shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian people in their darkest hour – and continue our country’s long tradition of supporting those when they need it.