Russia’s Aggression Towards Ukraine – the British View: A Conversation with Michael Tatham, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy in Washington
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As Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine intensifies, the United Kingdom plays an important role in the security, economic, and diplomatic dimensions of the crisis. The United Kingdom has been one of the most vocal and largest contributors of military support and economic aid to Ukraine, in coordination with allies. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said evidence suggests Russia is preparing for "the biggest war in Europe since 1945."
This conversation with the Deputy Head of Mission of the British Embassy in Washington, Michael Tatham, touched on Britain’s position in the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, coordination within NATO, and potential sanctions.
“We are watching with outrage what is happening in Ukraine. We’re seeing a flagrant violation of international law. But not just outrage, also horror. The horror of the level of suffering that is being inflicted on those living in Ukraine; horror in seeing indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas by Russian forces. What we’re seeing with this invasion—this further invasion of Ukraine—is actions that are premediated, are brutal, and utterly cynical."
“These measures [sanctions] go substantially further than measures that we’ve seen in the past, certainly those that were taken in 2014, following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and it’s destabilization of the Donbas. I think they are a very robust set of measures. I think… my guess is that they substantially exceed what Russia was expecting and counting on… I think that their impacts will be far-reaching. They are designed to have long-term enduring impact but I would say it’s quite striking to look at their immediate impact.”
“We have put in place arrangements that will make it easier for Ukrainians currently in the UK to stay in the UK and in safety… But much more significantly, we have put in place arrangements that will enable those Ukrainians that are in the UK to bring key relatives to join them in the UK and to be in the conditions of safety in the UK. Our estimate is that up to 200,000 Ukrainians could be eligible under the terms of those arrangements."
This event is part of the Wilson Center's Hindsight Up Front | Ukraine initiative.
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The Global Europe Program addresses vital issues affecting the European continent, US-European relations, and Europe’s ties with the rest of the world. We investigate European approaches to critical global issues: digital transformation, climate, migration, global governance. We also examine Europe’s relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Our program activities cover a wide range of topics, from the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE to European energy security, trade disputes, challenges to democracy, and counter-terrorism. The Global Europe Program’s staff, scholars-in-residence, and Global Fellows participate in seminars, policy study groups, and international conferences to provide analytical recommendations to policy makers and the media. Read more
The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the surrounding region though research and exchange. Read more
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