Sanctions are another reminder of UK’s valuable support for Ukraine

News Letter editorial on Thursday June 16 2022:

By Editorial
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 1:00 am
News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

The three DUP MPs sanctioned by Vladimir Putin’s regime will no doubt regard such a move as an unintentional form of flattery.

Gavin Robinson, Sammy Wilson and Gregory Campbell will wear the penalties Moscow has pinned on them as badges of honour.

They have been robust supporters in Parliament for the people of Ukraine struggling to repel the merciless Russian invasion since February.

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As Mr Robinson points out elsewhere in this newspaper today he represents a constituency where some of the military hardware the Ukrainian military have used to halt Russian advances in their tracks is manufactured. Weapons such as the NLAW anti-tank missile are made at Thales in East Belfast and have been effective in knocking out Russian armoured vehicles and slowing down Putin’s invading columns.

The East Belfast MP also makes a valid observation that Sinn Fein MPs and Dail deputies are unlikely to face similar Russian sanctions given that one of its MEP’s opposed Ukraine’s entry into the EU while other party representatives have tweeted out pro-Russian messages, albeit ones that are then quickly erased by the Shinnerbot army stalking cyberspace.

Yet there is a wider point to make about the Irish Republic, particularly its government’s deployment of Ukraine to ‘Brit-bash’ the UK over the Protocol debate.

Irish ministers have had the audacity to finger-wag at the UK Government for somehow breaching western solidarity against Putin just because Boris Johnson (eventually) thinks it might be a good idea to override an economically damaging and Union-threatening Protocol.

It is the UK, not the Republic, which is supplying much of the weaponry, many of it “Made-In-Belfast”, that has helped Ukraine stop an entire Russian takeover of their land.

The Republic remains militarily neutral while other EU states squabble about guzzling Putin’s oil and gas which funds his war chest. Using Ukraine to berate the one nation that has been there for Kyiv since the start is cynical and hypocritical.

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