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My statement on Ukraine


The violation of Ukraine's sovereignty by Russian military forces must be condemned and they should be withdrawn.


All sides must support a peaceful solution and I echo the UN Secretary General's call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, and his call to prevent actions and statements that may further escalate the dangerous situation in and around Ukraine.


There has been much discussion about financial sanctions against Russia.

This is something which the Labour Left have long debated; we sought to throw a spotlight on the very large sums of money sheltered in London by Russian oligarchs and Putin's allies. It should have been addressed a long time ago. But, the Tories resisted it in the past and in fact the Conservative party has continued to benefit from large amounts of Russian money donated to their party. In the recent past I have demanded that the Conservative hand all the Russian money back but naturally perhaps they have refused to do so.


There is significant Russian oligarch money in the London Stock Exchange and equally in the London Property market. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that some of this is a kind of gangster capitalism rooted in Moscow but washing around London.


Therefore it is right that whilst we focus on securing peace in Ukraine, that Russian and other international sources of finance in UK politics - and Conservative coffers - are also subject to greater scrutiny and where necessary appropriate sanctions, particularly in light of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine.


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