Many thanks for your email.
The UK – indeed, the world – cannot stand idly by whilst Russian troops lay siege to once peaceful European cities, whilst tanks tear through towns and missiles rain down on homes and hospitals. We have the moral duty to respond to these horrific acts, which are an attack on democracy, freedom, and our shared values .
I wholeheartedly support the Government’s response to Russia’s war of aggression. Through the imposition of sanctions, aimed at crippling the Russian economy and war machine, to supporting the Ukrainian government in defending their home with military and economic aid.
In recent years, the UK has worked to support Ukraine's security and defence. The UK has trained over 22,000 members of the Ukrainian army through Operation ORBITAL since 2015. Also, in recent months the UK has provided Ukraine with over 3,615 new light anti-tank weapons (NLAWs) along with a range of other defensive weapons and non-lethal aid such as body armour. The UK is now also providing anti-tank Javelin missiles as well as Starstreak high-velocity, man-portable anti-air missiles, which will allow Ukraine to better defend its skies.
I understand people’s desire to see a no-fly zone instituted above Ukraine. However, I would highlight the words of the Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, in the House of Commons that such a policy would present too high a risk of miscalculation and escalation that could ultimately lead to the inadvertent triggering of NATO’s Article 5.
I know many of my constituents have been deeply distressed seeing the plight of refugees whose lives have been torn apart by Putin’s attack. In response, last week, the UK Government launched the phase one of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. The uncapped route will allow sponsors to bring refugees to the UK. I know some are concerned that refugees need a sponsor, and I’ve been assured by Ministers that this situation is fluid and the scheme will develop in the future as needs require. For more information, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/register-interest-homes-ukraine
The Government is also giving people settled in the UK the ability to bring over their Ukrainian family members. For more information, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-ukraine-family-scheme-visa
Ukrainians who have a biometric passport can now apply for a visa online, meaning they will not have to attend an appointment at a visa processing centre. The Home Office has deployed extra staff to visa processing centres and has accelerated the process at these sites, which are located across the European continent. For exact information, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-ukraine-family-scheme-visa
Thank you for taking the trouble to write. Please do keep in touch either through my website, or directly by email, and let me know in particular if you are aware of individuals who need help at any stage.