15 July 2022
Sutton Baptist Church Annual Lecture 2022: Ukraine

I rounded off my constituency week by delivering my annual lecture on one of the greatest security challenges of our time: the war in Ukraine.

It is almost four months since Putin launched this brutal war, bringing untold suffering to the innocent people of Ukraine. The UK has rightly stood by Ukraine throughout.

Russian aggression cannot be appeased. Evidence grows of heinous war crimes: the butchery of innocent Ukrainian civilians. We must ensure that these crimes are fully investigated and justice is done. Allowing aggression to succeed would only bring further conflict and misery, and the war would not stop in Ukraine, so we must at every turn step up our commitment, maintaining the pressure on Russia’s economy and entrenching our policy of containment and isolation of Russia.

The whole international community needs to work together, steadfast in its determination and solidarity. Putin overestimated his military capabilities and underestimated the strength of western unity and resolve. I strongly support NATO’s unwavering stance defending our principles which I believe will wear down the determination of aggressors.

We need to continue the twin track of providing military support while backing Ukraine in negotiations. We must also find a solution to global food insecurity resulting from Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports, which prevents Ukraine from exporting its produce. By driving up food prices and creating shortages, the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world suffering, including in the UK, with the cost of living at least in part a consequence of the Kremlin’s actions.

For would-be aggressors everywhere, Putin must lose. Ukraine must prevail, for the good of its people and the principles we hold dear.