Sanctioned DUP MP Gavin Robinson ‘proud to be Russian target’

One of the three DUP MPs sanctioned by Russia said tonight he is as proud to be targeted by Moscow as he is of his constituency where they produce weapons to defend Ukraine.

By Henry McDonald
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 9:29 pm

East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson along with party colleagues, the East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson and Gregory Campbell the MP for East Londonderry, were hit with Russian sanctions including being barred from entry into the country.

As well as the three DUP MPs sanctions were also imposed on staff from east Belfast-based Thales UK – the company which designs and builds missiles including anti-tank weapons the Ukrainian military have used to destroy Russian tanks.

On being a target of the Russian sanctions policy, Mr Robinson said: “While we must continue to provide humanitarian and refugee assistance wherever it is needed, the primary support Ukrainians want is that needed to remove Russin from their country.

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DUP MP Gavin Robinson said he was proud to be targeted by Moscow and proud of his East Belfast constituency where they produce weapons to defend Ukraine

“The UK has played a vital role in that, and I’m particularly proud that east Belfast has produced some of the most vital hardware being used to defend Ukraine. Perhaps the ‘sanctions’ imposed on people like me or the fantastic staff at Thales are simply a reflection of how that support is viewed not just in Ukraine, but in Russia itself.”

Mr Robinson said it was highly unlikely that Vladimir Putin’s regime would target Sinn Fein MPs or TDs given that party’s record in the Irish and European parliament on Ukraine.

“With Sinn Fein’s only MEP voting against a motion calling for Ukraine to be given candidate status to join the EU and one of their MPs tweeting what could only be described as pro-Putin propaganda it seems that republicans are unlikely to face much of Putin’s ire.”

The weapons made at Thales in Mr Robinson’s constituency include the NLAW anti-tank missile system of which the UK has delivered several thousand to the Ukrainian military since the Russian invasion in February.

The NLAW is accurate to at least 600 metres (about 2,000ft) and is designed to explode in the air directly above a tank where its armour is often thinnest, and has won renown in the war for being effective against Russian tank columns.

Thales CEO and chairman of the board of directors, Alexander Cresswell, along with the company’s chief operating officer Christopher Shaw and vice presidents Paul Gosling, Ewen McCorrie, Suzanne Stratton and Lynne Watson are all on the Russian sanctions list.

Mr Wilson said he was “very pleased to be added to the list” adding that he had been disappointed not to have been put on an earlier sanctions list by President Putin.

In April his DUP colleagues Paul Girvan and Jim Shannon were sanctioned by Russia.