Speaking in a debate on the Russian annexation of Crimea, Mark urges the President-elect of Ukraine to be robust with Russia and work with western partners

24th April 2019

Mark urges Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky to hold fast to his pre-election commitment that he would not allow Crimea to be exchanged for peace in Donbass.

 

My hon. Friend has rightly set out a litany of sad human rights abuses and cultural vandalism—not only in Crimea and Donbass, but in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia, too. Volodymyr Zelensky said in his campaign that he would not see Crimea exchanged for peace in Donbass. Does my hon. Friend agree that he needs to hold fast to that pre-election commitment? When he becomes President in the next couple of weeks, he needs to be robust with Russia and work along with western partners, which was another commitment he made. In seeking peace, he should not seek peace at any cost.

I agree. I think we have all looked at the results of the Ukrainian elections with a degree of caution as to what the attitude of the new President will be, but this is not a time to back down from the demands being made for the restoration of Crimea and for an end to the fighting in the Donbass. This is a time for allies to keep making and pushing that point strongly.

Hansard